Max the Cat

Max the Cat walks along a wall on the Vermont State University Castleton Campus.

This past weekend, Max the Cat, received an honorary degree as a “Doctor in Litter-ature” from Vermont State University.

An unofficial mascot of VTSU’s Castleton Campus – Max has been a staple on campus for the last 4 years – riding around on students’ backpacks, posing as a subject for the college photography classes, and generally providing emotional support to the entire campus community.

Max’s mom, Ashley Dow says students actively look out for Max, and protect him. “Max was getting attacked by feral cats in the neighborhood. And I put up signs, because I was asking them, ‘If you see Max out and about after five, could you bring him home?’ And students did actually bring him home.”

While he didn’t actually walk across the stage, Max received his honorary degree this past weekend alongside 1,000 Vermont State University students who studied in-person and online across 96 different majors. Our students earned degrees in Nursing, Atmospheric Sciences, Animation & Illustration, Music Business & Industry, Outdoor Education, Leadership & Tourism, Computer Information Systems, Automotive Technology, Electromechanical Engineering Technology, Veterinary Technology (Max’s favorite), and many more.

VTSU offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs, as well as 59 athletic teams and 100 student clubs and organizations and across 5 campuses throughout the beautiful state of Vermont.

We are incredibly proud of Max and deeply grateful for the role he plays within the culture of our university, and for his part in elevating VTSU’s reputation for academic excellence and outstanding commitment to animal welfare.