As disappointments go, this one tops them all.
Plans to turn on the John Q. Hammons Fountain at Missouri State were scrapped late this week. The reason? The campus hawk has made its home (a nest) in the fountain’s second level.
Red-tailed hawks are a protected species under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. As a result, Missouri State grounds staff cannot bring back one of the campus’s most beloved icons until the campus hawk moves on.
“It’s a sad day for Missouri State students and alumni, but it’s important for us to not disturb the campus hawk,” said Janice Greene, a professor of biology. “I applaud the university for leaving it be to ensure our squirrel population remains under control.”
Like many years, the university planned to flip the switch on the fountain in early April. But the canceled plans to launch it April 1 mean the Traditions Council’s Fountain Day celebration must be pushed back as well.
Seeking a silver lining
For many students, the fountain represents a morale boost as finals week approaches. For alumni, it’s a fond memory of campus. But for Leonard Haymans, the maintenance general mechanic, it’s something more: a great job.
“Oh, I have a lot of people tell me I’ve got the best job on campus,” he said with a laugh. “I tell them they can apply the same way I did: Staple $100 on your application before submission.
Liquid cannot return to the fountain until the campus hawk leaves, Haymans said.
Sad stories can have happy endings, though, because this is our annual April Fools’ Day prank.