President Kroger Seized by Owl Frenzy

By Lauren Cooper ’16 | March 18, 2015

A furious fight erupted in the Quad Friday night as scores of students struggled for possession of the Doyle Owl, a 300-lb slab of concrete statuary that has become a monumental Reed mascot, in an exuberant mêlée that eventually engulfed President John Kroger.

As rival student factions vied for victory, Kroger dodged elbows, copies of the Iliad, and overzealous rugby players to plant a hand on this remnant of Reed’s history.

The chaos began at 7 p.m., when students discovered an owl near the Reed reactor. A frantic scrum took place as students wrestled for ownership until word filtered through that the object at the center of the mayhem was actually a decoy—one of two fakes planted to maximize confusion.

In fact, the “genuine” Owl was lying in the Quad, where hordes of students converged in an ecstasy of guile and sweat as they attempted to secure the mascot. Eventually, two rival factions emerged, each attempting to drag the Owl into the trunk of their own vehicle and speed away.

The Doyle Owl was originally snatched from an Eastmoreland lawn in the 1920s by a group of intrepid students from House F, later Doyle, and soon achieved the status of an icon. Since then it (or its replicas) have been dangled from a bridge, photographed in swimming pools, visited the New York World’s Fair, taken to Disneyland, visited Steve Jobs, and frozen in a block of ice.

Friday’s fracas dragged on for several hours until the Owl was finally captured. Its current roost remains unknown.

Tags: Reed History, Students, Campus Life