Patty Limerick, the renowned University of Colorado at Boulder history professor who also serves as the official “University Fool,” will put on white face paint and hold court on campus on April 1.
Limerick will appear on a “throne” in the University Memorial Center’s fountain area from 11 a.m. until about 1 p.m. The University Fool will award licenses to those who come to talk with her. She will be near a sign stating: The University Fool Is Eager to Receive Petitions Requests for Consolation and Encouragement And Confessions.
“The Fool will grant powers, award licenses and provide fresh starts,” she said. Limerick won’t make fun of anyone who approaches her, but rather will “engage in cheerful, funny, sometimes nonsensical, at other times not nonsensical, banter and good humor,” she said.
In case of inclement weather, the Fool will move inside the UMC.
Limerick was named CU-Boulder’s official University Fool in 1988 by former CU President Gordon Gee, and held similar positions at Harvard and Yale, where she previously taught. She performs the role to remind people to lighten up and not take themselves too seriously.
Limerick is the faculty director and board chair of the CU-Boulder Center of the American West. She is a leading scholar of Western American history and the winner of a MacArthur Fellowship, often called the “genius grant.”
For more information call Limerick at 303-492-4879 or call Peter Caughey in the CU-Boulder Office of Media Relations and News Services at 303-492-4007.