Why did the cow cross the Yard? To graze in the green grass, of course. On Sept. 10, at 4:30 p.m., don’t be surprised by the sight of a Jersey bovine happily chewing its cud in Tercentenary Theatre.
Though it has the makings of a college prank, the cow in the Yard will actually be part of a ceremony to honor Harvey Cox and his 44-year career at Harvard. Cox retired as the Harvard Divinity School‘s (HDS) Hollis Professor of Divinity in June. He is currently the Hollis Research Professor of Divinity.
London merchant Thomas Hollis endowed the Hollis Chair — Harvard’s oldest professorship — in 1721. A well-known legend attests that the Hollis Professor is entitled to graze his cow in the Yard. Cox will do just that, claiming his right with the help of a Jersey cow borrowed from The Farm School in Athol, Mass., who was christened “Faith” for the special occasion.
The event will include an invocation by the Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomes, the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, and a procession from the Yard to the HDS campus for a ceremony with HDS Dean William A. Graham, followed by a reception with refreshments and music. The grazing of the Hollis Cow will also mark the release of Cox’s latest book, “The Future of Faith.”