Monday, July 13, 2015

[007] Patriotic sequel to MTSU Honors ducklings’ ‘Independence Day’

MURFREESBORO — On the eve of the nation’s most patriotic holiday, available evidence suggests a second group of ducklings hatched and departed from their nest outside the MTSU Honors College July 3.

Just as their mother was far less visible among the growing ivy outside college than her predecessor, Ivy, who hatched 12 ducklings May 4, the newest resident rarely left her nest, which, when last visible, appeared to contain five or six eggs.

Although the Honors College eagerly was awaiting their arrival, the ducklings chose to do so on a day when the university was closed. By July 4, they were nowhere to be found.

“The ducklings were eager for their independence and wanted to celebrate the holiday early,” said Honors College Dean John Vile, offering speculation about their departure.

Vile, a Constitutional law scholar, noted President John Adams once anticipated the nation would celebrate its independence July 2 when Congress adopted Richard Henry Lee’s resolution for independence rather than July 4, when it approved the actual document. The ducklings’ mother chose to split the difference, Vile said.

By choosing a day when the university was closed, the mother and ducklings not only eluded undue publicity, but also undoubtedly had less traffic to dodge on their way to a local watering hole.

Although disappointed he and fellow staff members were unable to observe this celebration of red, white and True Blue duck independence, Vile expressed pride in the ducklings’ patriotism. This is the second graduating class of ducklings to leave the Honors College for the larger world.

Vile said that since the ducks are migratory creatures, he anticipates that word of the college will soon spread throughout the American Southeast.

To learn more about the Honors College, visit or call 615-898-2152.

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