Wheaton’s unofficial but beloved mascot, Cowduck was found yesterday, having died of natural causes.
Named for her resemblance to a Holstein, Cowduck made Peacock Pond and Chapel Field her home many years ago. Some say she was attracted by the endless whirl of campus events, others by the proximity of Chase Dining Hall. No one can say for sure, however, since Cowduck shared little of her personal life. (On Facebook she claimed to have been born in 1912, the year Wheaton became a four-year college.)
Over the past decade, Cowduck became something of a campus cult hero. She was photographed often by students, faculty and staff, as well as campus visitors, and many pictures of her can be found online. A group of students wrote an iPhone app for the college community in 2012 and named it after her. A Twitter account that was followed by hundreds of Wheaton people claimed to be written by her, though she would neither confirm nor deny that she wrote the posts.
Cowduck was not the college’s first famous waterfowl. An earlier generation of Wheaton students made Bruce the Goose a popular campus figure.
Cowduck’s spirit will remain part of the community. On social media, some people are already suggesting that Cowduck may return, like the phoenix or a new Dr. Who, to rule Peacock Pond.
Professor Francoise Rosset shared the story of how Cowduck got her human name. More >>