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The Great Gilbert the Goose By: Alex Guillory

Ten years ago, a few boys from the Ferguson dorm on campus were experiencing an extreme case of boredom. A sense of adventure and likely some impulsivity led the group to cure their boredom the best way that they could think of which turned out to be stealing a goose from the Abilene Zoo. The boys brought the goose back to their dorm and left him in the bathroom for safekeeping overnight.


During the night, some unfortunate soul from down the hall needed to use the bathroom. He was met with the surprising image of a large white goose taking up residency in between the showers and toilets. Hardin-Simmons University campus police were called, and were somewhat at a loss as to the handling of a “loose goose.” After thoughtful consideration, they decided that the best place for the goose to live out his days would be in the pond on the HSU campus. The goose was eventually named Gilbert and over time, he has become the unofficial mascot of HSU.


Kelly Shackelford, a junior psychology major from Southlake, loves the tradition of Gilbert the Goose and the way that his presence reflects the HSU campus culture.


“Gilbert’s birthday is such an important day on HSU’s campus,” Shackelford said. “For me, the main reason I chose HSU was because of the strong community. I love how every student completely buys into celebrating a goose and treats him like a celebrity because he is.”


This Friday, April 21, at 12:00 p.m. HSU will be celebrating Gilbert’s 10th birthday, or his “10th trip around the sun” as noted on the stickers and shirts that were printed for the occasion. There will be food trucks, lawn games and inflatables for all students, faculty and staff alike to enjoy. Don’t miss out on one of HSU’s favorite traditions, and come out to wish our great Gilbert the Goose a happy birthday.




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