University Fool to return to CU Boulder on Monday

Mar. 29—The University of Colorado's official University Fool will return to the Boulder campus on Monday to greet people during April Fools Day.

Patty Limerick, also a CU Boulder history professor, will dress in colorful clothes and clown makeup as she engages with passersby on campus late Monday morning and early afternoon.

"There's one day a year, which is called April Fools Day, and I'm the only one who's celebrated on that day," Limerick said.

The University Fool can say whatever comes to mind and exercise true freedom of expression, she explained. The Fool will report on the "status of folly" at the university and welcome the new chancellor despite not knowing who the new chancellor will be. The Fool will also interact with people as they walk by and ask them questions.

In the past, Limerick has worn signs with the word "encouragement" or "congratulations" and proceeded to ask people what they'd like to be encouraged or congratulated about.

"You just get to meet people on the best terms," Limerick said, adding, "It's just very fun and it's a social role that is desperately needed and terribly understaffed with only me."

The University Fool is a tradition with roots back to medieval Europe. Royalty would have an official Fool in medieval and early Renaissance courts who was able to speak openly and honestly without fear of consequences.

The Fool will begin to greet people at 11:30 a.m. at the Dalton Trumbo Fountain located behind the University Memorial Center, 1669 Euclid Ave. She will then relocate to outside the Office of the Chancellor at 914 Broadway, where she will stay or decide to head back to the fountain area.