Have a cow

Kathryn Monroe

The Norris cow has risen again,” read the placard.

[email protected] II was unveiled Wednesday afternoon during a ceremony in the lobby of Norris University Center.

The original [email protected], a life-size fiberglass cow inspired by Chicago’s Cows on Parade, first appeared at Northwestern in April 2000. But three weeks later it was stolen, chopped up and hidden in a fraternity house in an incident that was later linked to two NU fraternity brothers.

“Today we re-celebrate an occasion,” said Molly Lazar, the 76-year-old former chairwoman of the Northwestern Institute for Learning in Retirement, the organization that donated the original cow and organized the unveiling of the second.

Lazar read a fairy tale she had written about the long road to get to Wednesday’s ceremony.

“Today we honor [email protected] II, tenacity and bullheadedness,” she said.

And to the newest member of Northwestern’s community, she said, “May the God of Bovine watch over you.”

The unveiling drew a crowd of more than 80 Evanston residents and NU students, who dined on milk and cow-shaped cookies decorated with white icing and brown spots.

“I’m surprised they were willing to dedicate another cow,” said Lisa Zelljadt, a Weinberg sophomore. While she said she liked the concept and the brighter colors of the new cow, Zelljadt doesn’t think the cow will have much of an impact on campus and just hopes it doesn’t get stolen again.

The ceremony ended with a cowbell being tied around the neck of [email protected] II, which unlike the original will be kept inside Norris’ main lobby to deter thieves.

Boris Labinov and Nicholas Hughes, then Weinberg juniors at the time, admitted last year to the theft and consequent destruction of the fiberglass farm animal. The head and udders of [email protected] were found by University Police in a closet at Phi Gamma Delta.

Labinov and Hughes had to pay all costs connected with replacing the cow, including artist fees and shipping the cow from Switzerland to Chicago.

Lazar said she hopes the cow will be something that visitors to Norris will enjoy looking at.

“It’s light, airy, fun and different than anything on campus,” she said.

Lazar said it was unfortunate that a second unveiling was necessary, but that she wished no ill will on Hughes and Labinov. She said one of the students involved in the vandalism attended Wednesday’s unveiling and asked for a copy of her fairy tale, which Lazar called “the highest compliment.”