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Chasing Schiller

Katie talks about the interactions she has had with the bust of Schiller.

Katie talks about the interactions she has had with the bust of Schiller.


The tradition of chasing Schiller, a bust of a German poet that is periodically stolen and shown off at Carleton events only to be stolen again, is alive and well at Carleton.

Today I want to share with you some of the times I’ve interacted with the legendary bust — this tradition of stealing has stolen my heart!

Stevie P and Schiller
The president of the college, Steven Poskanzer, poses with Schiller.

The First Time I Saw Schiller

The first time I saw this Schiller was during Date Knight my first year at Carleton. I figured it was an inside joke or Carls just finding a strange way to have fun. It wasn’t until after, when my RA explained we were supposed to chase after the bust, that I realized the opportunity I missed out on!

Meeting the Myth

Luckily for me that was not my last encounter with the legendary bust. Later that year my floor was able to find Schiller after his location was revealed through a series of mysterious clues during Late Night Trivia. A battle ensued for the bust, but no one could get a strong hold of him. Ultimately, we made a deal. They would get Schiller for the night, but would deliver him to my floor the next morning. We shook on it, and we parted ways until the next day when Schiller was delivered to us in a black luggage bag. We took him out, signed the back of him, and then proceeded to take pictures and plan our own showing!

Schiller
Katie’s floor celebrates getting Schiller!

Showing Schiller

Schiller showings often take place at large Carleton events. We decided that Late Knight Breakfast would be the best place to allow others the opportunity to steal him. We ran into the dining hall and raised him over the crowd eating their food.

Then the chase began!

We had a few students run after us trying to get their hands on Schiller, but our friend who was carrying Schiller fell into the snow and our pursuers lost sight of the bust! After an unsuccessful showing, we decided to just trade Schiller for the legendary Nolympics cow.

Picture of the nolympics cow and schiller
Katie’s floor makes a trade for the Nolympics cow.

The Other Forms of Schiller

This was not my last interaction with Schiller though! I have chased him at Rotblatt and seen him chilling out in my friends’ rooms just waiting for his next appearance. There are other versions of Schiller around campus, though, including a small version of Schiller, a blue Schiller, a butter Schiller, and a huge paper mache Schiller, and plenty of Schiller Stickers. Schiller does not only exist in these physical forms, but lends it name to our OneCard Currency, Schillers, and our student volunteer arm of the Admissions Office, the Schiller Society.

Schiller is easily one of my favorite traditions at Carleton. I can only hope that’ll I’ll get to see him at least once more before I graduate!


Katie is a senior English Major from Chisholm, MN. She is a Resident Assistant (RA) and loves to act in student theatre productions. When she isn’t busy with those you can catch her hanging out with friends in Sayles, drawing in the Arb, reading a cheesy Young Adult novel on the Bald Spot, or spending too much time playing Animal Crossing: New HorizonsMeet the other bloggers!