My dad graduated from NIU in the early 80s and when he was bringing me to campus for orientation and my private tour given by him and his knowledge of campus one of the memories he shared was that of William the Goose. He said everyone on campus knew William; it was as if he was the school’s unofficial mascot who almost always could be found at the East Lagoon. He even flew around the football field during one of the homecoming games as well. My dad said that despite William running after students, the goose would occasionally hang out by Altgeld and was actually very fond of NIU’s president and vice versa.
To this day if my dad calls on an NIU alum from that time he mentions William the Goose in his introductory sales calls. The memory of ‘NIU’s #1 Alum’ as they say, still lives on today..
Now 30+ years later as I prepare to graduate the relationship students have with the Geese on campus does not cease. Whether it be the crazy protective goose a few years ago who chased people by the Chick Evans Field House or any of the other geese who can be spotted all over campus. These Geese have joined our generation unlike in my dad’s day. The geese now have a voice in the online social world via Twitter: @NIUGeese.
Geese for whatever reason are still a humorously popular topic as the Northern Star has published articles about geese, students always have interesting incidents with geese, and now they have 281 followers as of February 13, 2012. It is only going to continue to grow as the NIU Geese turn out to be pretty comical with such posts as:
- “I dream of the day when a goose can serve our country as president”
- “#30thingsaboutme 18. I have a higher vertical than Michael Jordan. If only I had hands to hold a ball!”
- “#30thingsaboutme 22. I enjoy chasing freshman around campus”
- “If Red Bull #GivesYouWings what does it give us? Maybe a weird third wing like the one my cousin Leroy was born with? #creepy”
What might be funnier than some of @NIUGeese’s individual tweets are the conversations they are carrying with people in the NIU community. Topics range from telling football fans that the Geese keep up with workouts in case Coach Doeren needs any wide receivers, all the way to students mockingly suggesting skinny dipping with the geese and not condoning drinking and flying.