Fox Day Goes Viral
By Laura J. Cole ’04 ’08MLS
Anticipation of Fox Day has always run high at Rollins. Beginning in early spring, students speculate on which day they think it will be. They narrow the field by scouring the campus events—and President’s—calendar for commitments they know can’t be canceled. They’ve been known to call local bus and catering companies, as well as donut shops, to find out if orders have been received from the College. Some risk takers, certain they’ve guessed right, forgo doing homework the night before what they believe will be the big day. A few Fox Day fanatics even camp out on Mills Lawn in hopes of claiming the first fox sighting.
This spring, the waiting game took on a new twist. Thanks to economics and Spanish major Steven Madow ’11 and alumnus Josh Chesarek ’09HH, Rollins students—and the rest of the world—could keep an eye on Mills Lawn in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Fox’s arrival on a personal computer or a mobile device via a live Fox Day Cam.
“For the last two years, I’ve been able to look out my window on the morning of Fox Day and see the fox,” Madow said. “I wanted to share that experience with everyone.” From his room in Gale Hall, Madow pointed a camera out his window, set up a website, and added a Facebook portal allowing people to post their comments. The original site provided updated stills every 15 seconds. Noting the popularity of the site, Chesarek, who owns the video production company Simple Thought Productions, offered to provide a live streaming video and make it accessible on some smart phones.
The resulting site, FoxDayCam.com, quickly became the buzz around campus—and online. During the three-day broadcast, the site attracted more than 3,000 viewers from 22 countries, who left shout-outs for each other, commented on the tents and student antics on Mills Lawn, and cast their predictions for Fox Day 2010. At the viewing peak, close to 400 people were tuned in to Fox Day Cam waiting for the fox’s live appearance—which occurred at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 8.
Learn more about Rollins' Fox Day tradition or watch President Duncan roll the fox onto Mills Lawn.