Be on the lookout — there’s a new celebrity at UM-Dearborn. You may have already spotted him waddling across campus or stopping to take pictures with a gaggle of groupies. That friendly fowl is Bruce the Goose, the in-bird embodiment of an illustration featured on @umdearborn’s Instagram over the years. Now, he exists in three dimensions and is ready to show off his school spirit and UM-Dearborn pride.
Anyone familiar with UM-Dearborn’s campus knows it is home to not only Wolverines, but plenty of natural wildlife including countless Canadian geese. Over the years, students took a liking to the geese, frequently taking pictures of them and posting them on social media. But Bruce’s celebrity status would not stop there. As the result of a student-driven initiative aimed at creating fun conversation and acknowledging the large wildlife population at UM-Dearborn, Bruce has been promoted to an on-campus personality.
The “live” goose is managed by the Office of Student Life. Their lips are sealed on who portrays Bruce, though we know they are student employees. The identity of those students is top secret. Jennifer Kowalczyk, campuswide and family programs coordinator with the Office of Student Life, hopes to continue to increase Bruce’s presence across campus, building school spirit along the way.
“We wanted something to grow school spirit and grow community by having a campus celebrity that is unique to Dearborn. We also wanted to tie into something that is very prevalent across our campus,” says Kowalczyk (that “something” being the geese, of course). “We are hoping student organizations and other campus departments start renting out Bruce to enhance their own activities and programs.” You can request a visit from Bruce by filing out this form at least 14 days in advance. Pricing varies, but is typically $75 per appearance for an on-campus event. The fee offsets the cost of Bruce and his bodyguard.
You can catch Bruce around campus cheering on the athletic teams and partaking in university traditions and events. When you see him around campus this semester, make sure you stop, ask him for a selfie and give him a big Go Blue!
Article by Kathryn Bourlier