As a celebration of the large heap of slightly melted snow’s long tenure on the University of Wisconsin–Stout campus, officials have gathered together to officially award it an honorary diploma. Many students, as well as staff and faculty, have grown quite fond of the snow pile ever since it began growing back in December. While it is not the first mass of snow to take up residence on the hill behind the library, this pile has truly captured hearts at UW–Stout.
Other snow piles across Wisconsin have also been given prestigious awards of this kind. University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee has been at the forefront of giving each pile of clean snow on campus an honorary bachelor’s degree before they either melt or get contaminated with dirt and grime. “Clean snow in a city like this is a real rarity,” said the UW–Milwaukee Dean of Students, “So we try to appreciate it as often as we can.” Clean snow typically lasts about two or three days in Milwaukee, so in 2004 an official position was created to routinely patrol campus, leaving degrees in piles of snow deemed sufficiently clean.
The pile of snow at Stout being honored is expected to remain on campus as late as mid-April, weather permitting. Regardless of how long or short its remaining weeks are, there will undoubtedly be someone who tries to argue that the snow pile’s lifespan is evidence that climate change doesn’t exist.