She’s bold, she’s playful, she’s furry, and rumor has it that she has some of the best dance moves around town! This magical being is better known as Millie the Dancing Bear. Millie helps spread school spirit, is the center of attention at student events posing for selfies and group photos, and is, of course, always willing to lend a hug. Students’ reactions to Millie are quite varied - some giggle and wave hello, some scream and run into hiding, some ask all of the questions possible to figure out who wears the costume, and others run towards her in excitement and with much Barnard pride.
Millie is named in honor of Barnard’s first President Millicent McIntosh and has been around in mascot form for over 15 years. Millie is a highly regarded member of the Barnard community and is probably the closest thing we have to tapping for a secret honor society. Perhaps not the best analogy but it is in fact a tip top secret. Before her appearances Millie needs to find the perfect, secluded place to go from their normal being and transform into full Millie character -- no talking, no laughing, just all dancing!
Millie’s popularity and significance knows no bounds. She is requested to attend major campus events, gets to wear all the cool t-shirts, and has a manager who makes sure she gets the treats and giveaways at every event. To be Millie is an honor for those who get selected and her reveal is much anticipated at every year’s graduation when members of the graduating class wonder if the Millie of their Barnard experience is also one of their classmates. Millie had a fairly noticeable transformation when she had to undergo a major do-over in Fall 2016. So, if you are pre Class of 2020 Millie might look differently than when you first met her. Please be kind...she's still trying to get used to her new look.
So where can you find Millie? Millie tries to participate in large campus traditions and has joined in on the sandwich madness at Big Sub, takes pictures with fun props at Founders Day, warms up with blankets and hot cocoa during WinterFest, dances around the Benefits Fair, and enlivens the frigid crowd waiting to get into Midnight Breakfast this past Fall. If you still have not met her, be sure to keep an eye out for a friendly bear walking around campus from time to time. If are having an event and want her to join please complete this request form at least 2 weeks in advance.
Check out this article in the Barnard magazine to learn more about Millie!