Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Staff Council

How Cowduck got her name

Posted on March 29, 2013

Few perhaps, aside from Joel Relihan, Associate Provost and Professor of Classics, recall how Cowduck came to be named Cowduck.  Joel referred me to Francoise Rosset, Assoc. Professor of Russian, who shares the following story:

"The story is that Pierre-Andre Houpert, Class of 2010, came up with the name. He wasn't even in high school then...just a faculty kid living on campus. Back then, some time around 2001, Pierre-Andre used to occasionally come to Russian club events with me. He found my students terribly cool and some of them had adopted him as a little brother. Pierre-Andre remembers clearly that my student "Chum," Anh-Tram Tran, Class of 2003, was there when Cowduck was named. They had a silly conversation about fictitious "cults of rubber duckies," and decided that the campus ducks were emissaries of The Great Duck. In the process, Pierre-Andre said this one duck had "spots like a cow" therefore she was "cow-duck!" Pierre-Andre now says he was trying to show how funny and clever he was to the cool students. Chum circulated the name to other students, and as far as anyone knows, that's how Cowduck got her name!"

Thank you, Francoise, for sharing a story that needed to be told.  And thank you, Pierre-Andre, for giving "Cowduck" a name to remember!


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