The cultural phenomenon of GroundVark Day was first introduced in 2017 as one of many banner moments celebrating the 50th anniversary of Aims Community College. Dr. Leah L. Bornstein, CEO/President, presided over the inaugural GroundVark Day celebration, initiating the holiday and introducing the distinguished group known as Arty’s Inner Circle. GroundVark Day was welcomed with fanfare at a live, red carpet event and immediately embraced by the Aims community. To date, and far into the future, GroundVark Day continues as an annual day of celebration at Aims Community College.
Since 1887, February 2 has customarily tracked the shadow of Punxsutawney Phil, the famed “celebrity” of Groundhog Day. For years, Phil has delivered a prediction to the arrival of spring and a reprieve to the elements of winter, centralized around the status of his shadow. Thousands of Phil’s followers direct their attention to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, “the Home of the Groundhog.” In fact, February 2 is actually the only nationally recognized day of celebration dedicated to an animal. With the help of his Inner Circle, Phil has been making prognostications for years, but what DOES that mean?
Verb | prog-nos-ti-cate | \präg-’nä-stə-kāt\
First known use: 15th century; estimated 1375-1425; late Middle English >Medieval Latin
(and now you know…)
As fate would have it, Aims has been “the Home of the Aardvark” since 1967. When Arty the Aardvark discovered this about Aims, he packed his bags and has called the Greeley campus home while enjoying regular visits to campuses in Fort Lupton, Loveland and Windsor. Arty has never looked back to his days before Aims.
Aardvarks, if you didn’t know, are similar to the celebrated groundhog in a few ways: they have burrowing habits, they are cautious and their shadows are full of insightful information. On the east coast, Phil looks for his shadow to predict the arrival of spring and a reprieve to winter elements. In Northern Colorado, Arty looks to his shadow to forecast the future of Aims Community College. Rumored to be verrrry distant cousins, Phil may be famous, however Arty the Aardvark inherited the charm, personality...and the looks...in the family of characters.
The Inner Circle
Arty’s Inner Circle is a highly dignified and spirited group that care for and communicate with Arty the Aardvark year round. Aardvarks are very quiet creatures, as you may have noticed when you’ve met Arty, and they only make audible noises when disturbed. As the mascot for a remarkably positive higher education institution, Arty only seems to be silent as he spends his days surrounded by individuals dedicated to making their mark and building a stronger community each day.
The star of GroundVark Day, however, does have a secret language known by linguists around the globe as GroundVarkese. The President of Arty’s Inner Circle serves as the exclusive, executive, numero uno expert in GroundVarkese. Communicating with Arty is a rare gift and a high honor; it is a great responsibility to translate Arty’s annual GroundVark message.
Behind the Scenes
Arty works hard and trains year round to keep his dream of GroundVark Day alive. His dedicated preparation is focused on raising awareness of GroundVark Day. He is well rewarded as each year February 2, GroundVark Day picks up momentum with a fan following that continues to grow. With programs, services and facilities on course for progressive growth, so to, shall GroundVarks Day grow as the next big, cultural phenomenon celebrating Arty the Aardvark on February 2 each year.
GroundVark Day Prognostications over the years: