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My snow bear and me: Luna takes Moulton Circle by storm

February 2, 2024

Courtesy of Cordell Perne and Muzi Wei
DO YOU WANT TO BUILD A SNOWBEAR: First-year couple surprises campus with a beary special surprise after Sunday's snowfall.

As the sun rose on Monday morning, students trudging to 8 a.m. classes were greeted by the newest member of the College’s collection of frozen friends: Luna the snow bear. Placed perfectly at the center of Moulton Circle, Luna was brought to life late Sunday night through the love, graces and snow-packing talents of first-year girlfriend-boyfriend duo Muzi Wei ’27 and Cordell Perne ’27.

The pair had plans to stay in Sunday night, but when Wei noticed that the heavy flakes falling might produce ideal conditions for snowman construction, Perne and Wei decided to brave the elements and head into the snowy Bowdoin night at 11 p.m.

“It was super spontaneous for us. At first we were going to go out and play in the snow and appreciate it, but then it got into snowman making, and we realized we could make it in the Moulton circle, and then we made it into a polar bear,” Wei said.

As for the bear’s name, Perne and Wei were inspired by fellow students wandering about the quad that night.

“It’s named Luna because we ran into kids in astronomy classes multiple times frantically trying to look for the moon to log their astronomy homework, and none of them could see the moon because it was really foggy out,” Perne said.

While bringing Luna to life was unplanned, the snow bear’s presence has not gone unnoticed. Both student and administrator passersby have found themselves in awe of the just-under-six-foot-tall stone-eyed, stone-nosed polar bear.

Bowdoin’s Creative Director Janie Porche first heard about Luna when a senior officer of the College sent her a picture of the snow bear. Within two days, Luna had gone from a photo in Porche’s text messages to the featured image on the College’s official website.

For Porche—who manages the College’s polar bear licensing—Luna checks off all the boxes.

“As one of the people responsible for maintaining the elements of the Bowdoin brand, I must commend the craftsperson responsible for this polar bear. The head is round and cheerful, the ears are attentive yet welcoming, and unlike many of our mascot costumes, the eyes face in the same direction. A stunning representation of the form,” Porsche said.

Clara Tunny ’25 first noticed Luna on Monday when she was on the phone with her dad, to whom she immediately sent a photo.

“I sent a photo to my dad, and he thought it was so funny. I think it is so cute,” Tunny said. “I didn’t see anyone make it, though. All of a sudden, it was just here.”

Tunny wasn’t the only student who was surprised by Luna’s presence in Moulton Circle. Nate Gizaw ’24 was impressed with the bear and amazed by the time commitment the duo put into it.

“Impressive,” Gizaw said. “I don’t know what kind of kid has time to spend two hours trying to build that—but respect.”

Thanks to Perne and Wei’s teamwork, turning the dense, new-fallen snow into Luna’s likeness took just under an hour, but nonetheless, the project was a difficult feat. Luna, their second attempt at a snow creature (the first can be found in between Appleton Hall and the Chapel), was built with just one pair of gloves between the couple’s four hands. Perne took the right glove and Wei the left, and the pair rolled the necessary four mounds of snow that would soon form Luna.

While Perne and Wei consider Luna’s construction to be a one-off occurrence, Tunny hopes they will continue the tradition as snow continues to fall all winter.

“I hope they make a little pack of polar bears,” Tunny said.

At of the time of publication, Luna stands no longer. Her remains—four large, round balls of snow—can be found where she once stood so valiantly: in the center of Moulton Circle.


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