Milk Huddleston, the cow cutout displayed last semester in the lobby of Dimond Library, has been missing since the ending of finals week this past December. Special Collections Curator Dale Valena believes that the cow was taken during the period of time when the library was operating under a 24-hour schedule.
“I came in the front door and it’s something that I always noticed because I loved the cow, which is how we noticed it was missing,” Valena said.
“[The cow] was part of an exhibit in the fall to celebrate 150 [years of UNH], celebrating the students,” Valena said. “We added the cow because we thought it would be charming and the University [has] its roots in agriculture. So we had a beautiful cow and the food service people did a naming event. The best name was Milk Huddleston. We thought that was hilarious.”
According to Holloway Commons Area Manager Deborah Scanlon, the naming contest was for the Harvest Celebration in recognition of UNH’s 150-year anniversary.
“The library had some cutouts that they were displaying as a result of the 150 [year celebration],” Scanlon said. “We said ‘let’s make this a little more interactive.’ We really wanted the students to be a part of it.”
The contest was run through both social media and in person at last semester’s Harvest Dinner at Holloway Commons where a ballot box was provided for name suggestions. Participants could also provide their proposals via text with the hashtag #NameTheUNHCow,
“There were over 200 people that put names in,” Scanlon said. “The winner received a prize. It ended up that the cow got named Milk Huddleston.”
The winners were juniors Edie Allard and Ashley Prokop “It was Ashley’s idea basically,” Allard said.
“We were at the Harvest Dinner and we saw it on Twitter that it came up ‘NameTheUNH Cow’ and we said, ‘Let’s do this. Let’s submit a name for it.’ We were just pitching funny names and I said well let’s name it after the president or something like that so that way it has a connection,” Prokopik said. “They actually called [President] Mark Huddleston and got it approved through him.”
Scanlon confirmed Huddleston’s approval.
“We always make sure that the university is completely aware of everything that we’re doing. [Huddleston] supports everything that we’re doing,” Scanlon said.
Allard added, “The people who coordinated the naming contest messaged me on Twitter and told me they picked our name. They took a photo of us with the cow but they also gave us this awesome cookie cake, bottles of milk, free t-shirts and buttons for us and our friends.”
After the cow’s disappearance, Special Collections plastered the Dimond Library doors and walls with “missing cow” posters. They showed Milk Huddleston’s head on the side of a milk carton, in reference to old missing children adds that would be plastered on the beverages. The posters also included a note asking it to be returned.
Since the posters were up during J-Term, most members of the university community had no idea that the cow was missing. Even those who were familiar with the naming competition were unaware of the disappearance, as both Allard and Prokopik said they had no idea that cutout had gone missing.
“I’m sad about it. We took very good care of her here,” Scanlon added. “Wild-E. Cat was taken on a weekend getaway at one point. We identified the person; the student said that Wild E. wanted to go out during the weekend.”
“I assume somebody took it during the wee hours of the morning when there’s not many people in the library and they just walked it out the door. I put the word out to facilities, to housing. I didn’t want to call the police because we don’t want anyone to get in trouble,” Valena said. “We just want it back. I put up the posters. We’ve gotten no leads. Unfortunately it was the end of the semester so not many people saw them.”
“I’m sure it was a good time had by all, whatever they did with it, but we’d like it back,” Valena added.
If anyone has seen Milk Huddleston, Dale Valena can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 603-862-1081. Any information on the matter would be appreciated.