Not 24 hours after Wade Gilleyfaxed in his resignation and ended his stint with our university, we lost another university icon: Millenium (the cow).
Nearly 10-months old and in seemingly good health, the state's most beloved bovine and the General Assembly's favorite four-legged critter died in a field outside the UT Experimental Station early Saturday morning.
Routine checkups showed that Millie was doing just fine and developing as well as all the other cattle her age. UT examiners have ruled out lightning or poisonous plants being the cause of death, so we're all left wondering how it happened.
While some would wonder why it's any big deal why some cow died in a field, it is important to stress that Millie was not just any cow.
True, she was a clone, meaning she was proof of how scientifically capable our people here at UT really are, but there's more.
Millie was the third cow cloned from an adult in the United States and the first cloned Jersey cow overall.
Millie was the first animal cloned using new techniques ... a pioneer.
Millie was famous. She was probably the only cow to walk around in our state capitol to the applause of state legislators.
Millie, to those students and researchers who took care of her, was more than just some cow.
Anyone who has ever had to feed, water and care for an animal before knows the real hurt those close to Millie feel.
She will be missed, not just for what she was scientifically, but for what she meant to the university and its supporters.