She serves as an ever-compliant photo backdrop, as an unmistakable landmark for a Rohrbach rendezvous, and as our library's distinctive mascot. In her spare time she generates a Twitter stream just as reliably as other cows produce milk and methane.
Below, the story of the cow's creation and how she came to join us.
From the Rohrbach Library newsletter, Spring 2005:
Cow Returns Home after Visit to the Auction Block
By Shari Bromfield
“The Elusive Sea Cow” is the one of the newer additions to the Rohrbach Library family. It was created as part of the 2004 CowParade Harrisburg art exhibit that featured a series of 14 cows sponsored by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and created by students from each of the State Universities.
CowParade Harrisburg is part of a world-wide Cow Parade, "the world's largest public art event," that began in Chicago in 1999 and has shown up in cities such as New York, Sydney, Prague, London, Tokyo, [and, in 2013, Hong Kong.] For more info about the worldwide exhibit, go to www.cowparade.com. CowParade Harrisburg was organized as a fundraiser for the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Harrisburg.
“The Elusive Sea Cow” is the creation of Kutztown University student, Abigail J. Krantz. Her design includes various kinds of sea creatures including: a sea turtle, jellyfish, seahorses, an electric eel, and of course, the elusive sea cow or manatee. After grazing last Spring in Harrisburg, each of the cows were sent to their home universities to serve as fundraisers. During the summer, our beloved cow, who is lovingly referred to as “LC” (Elsie) by some of our staff, came to reside in the lobby of the Rohrbach Library. Then, on November 6, 2004, “The Elusive Sea Cow” was put on the auction block at the Annual President’s Ball. The library staff and students feared that our cow would be “mooving” on to other pastures. However, much to our relief, the cow was bought by Sovereign Bank, represented by Ramona Turpin of the KU Class of ’73, and donated back to the library.
Popular with children visiting the campus, one of the first things they note about our cow is the “Finding Nemo” fish on its side, otherwise known as a clown fish. Come see if you can spot all of the strategically placed aquatic creatures hidden on the cow! You can’t miss her when you visit the library!