The University Park campus at Penn State becomes the third most populous city in Pennsylvania on football Saturdays (behind Philadelphia and Pittsburgh).
Emerson College owns its own castle, Kasteel Well in the Netherlands, used for the school's semester abroad program.
Emerson College's WERS-FM is the oldest noncommercial broadcaster in Boston.
Southern New Hampshire University is the #12 most innovative company in the world, according to Fast Company, and it's the only college that made the list!
In 1841, Oberlin College became the first college to grant degrees to women. It was also the first college to grant a bachelor's degree to an African American woman, doing so in 1862.
The first national fraternity was Sigma Phi, founded in 1827 at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. It is the second-oldest Greek fraternal society after Phi Beta Kappa.
In 1972 the Northwestern University student body voted to change the athletic teams' official nickname from "Wildcats" to "Purple Haze." The new name never caught on, but Hendrix still rules.
Every year, the University of Connecticut hosts its OOzeball Mud Volleyball Tournament, where players play volleyball in eight inches of mud.
University of Connecticut's annual OOzeball Mud Volleyball Tournament draws over 1,000 players and spectators. Founded in 1984, it is the longest-running tournament of its kind.
University of Connecticut's annual OOzeball Mud Volleyball Tournament has been recognized by Sports Illustrated/SI On Campus as the "Best Mud Volleyball in the Country," #33 on the "Top 100 Things Gotta Do Before You Graduate: No Matter The Cost," and "Best Use of Dirt."
Irvine Cotton Warburton is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and an Academy Award winner--and the only person to do both! He won for his film editing work on 1964's Mary Poppins.
The Louisiana State University -- Shreveport mascot, Mike the Tiger--a live tiger--is placed in a cage and moved near the visiting team's locker room before home games, so the opposing players must pass by him on the way to the field.
Louisiana State University -- Shreveport's team mascot, Mike the Tiger, is an actual live Bengal tiger. The school built a $3 million habitat for Mike (currently Mike VI) in 2005.
The mascot for the University of California, Santa Cruz is the Banana Slug.
The first reinforced concrete structure in the world was Harvard University's stadium.
The 1905 college football season was a truly deadly one, with dozens of players at schools like University of Pennsylvania dying due to internal injuries, given the violent nature of the game. President Teddy Roosevelt called for collegiate athletic reforms shortly thereafter.
Harvard University is, by many accounts, the oldest college in the United States. It is also the first and oldest corporation in the United States.
Oprah Winfrey received a full scholarship to Tennessee State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in speech and performing arts.
The average cost of college tuition in the United States increased more than 300% between 1980 and 2010, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
The Freshman 15 is probably closer to The Freshman 3, with college freshmen gaining less than 3 pounds on average, according to a 2008 survey published in the Journal of American College Health.
Upwards of 80% of college admission counselors look at applicants' social media pages, according to a 2011 study conducted by Kaplan.
Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore were freshman roommates at Harvard University.
The national average six-year graduation rate at four-year public institutions is around 60%, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
There are more than 50 colleges and universities in Greater Boston, with more than 250,000 college students between them.
Woodrow Wilson was the only U.S. president to hold a Ph.D., which he earned at Johns Hopkins University in 1886.
James Madison University has a "kissing rock" on campus. Back when the women were not allowed to be alone with men on campus, they would hide behind the rock to kiss. Rumor says if you kiss someone on the rock you will marry that person.
Baylor University has a licensed zoo on campus in order to keep their two mascots: North American black bears named Joy and Lady.
University of Delaware purchased a 272-acre old Chrysler assembly plant facility in order to expand its education and research capabilities.
In 2011 High Point University purchased an entire mall, Oak Hollow Mall in High Point, North Carolina.
A team of researchers at the University of Florida developed the original Gatorade in response to a request in 1965 by an assistant football coach to discover why players were having difficulty in the heat.
Since 1970, Harvard University has had a policy that doesn't allow commercial filming to take place on campus.
Reid Hall, a castle on the campus of Manhattanville College, was used in the hit HBO show Boardwalk Empire.
On November 6, 1869, the first American intercollegiate football game was played between Princeton University and Rutgers.
Catholic University of America is the only higher education institution in the United States founded by bishops.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney campus is the closest college to the beloved groundhog who checks for his shadow each February.
Drexel University offered one of the first cooperative education programs in the United States, and it's one of only three schools that require co-op.
The traditional class ring at Massachusetts Institute of Technology is called the "Brass Rat," since the mascot Tim the Beaver has a prominent place on the top of the ring.
The UMass campus library system is the largest of any state university in New England, housing over 6.1 million items.
At 26 stories W.E.B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is the tallest library in the country.
In 1885, Jane and Leland Stanford founded Stanford University in memory of their only son, Leland Stanford, Jr., who died the previous year of typhoid fever at the age of 15.
Butler University claims to have started the infamous Blue Books for exams. Professors requested covered booklets with lined paper for students, and since the school's colors are blue and white, they had blue covers.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute received the little black goat that became its mascot in 1893, a gift from the sophomore class. The goat was named Gompei after the Japanese student, Gompei Kuwada, who was chosen to take care of him, allegedly because his initials stood for "goat keeper."
All students and faculty at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, are required to practice Transcendental Meditation.
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (founders of Ben & Jerry's ice cream) took a correspondence course on ice cream making at Pennsylvania State University -- University Park's Creamery.
The Ohio State University -- Columbus marching band is nicknamed The Best Damn Band in the Land.
Ticket sales for a single home game at the University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor's stadium generate approximately five times the original cost of building the stadium in 1927.
The Hootie and the Blowfish music video for "Only Wanna Be With You" was shot, in part, at the Reckord Armory on the University of Maryland, College Park campus.
A bronze statue of Cy Young is on the Northeastern University campus in Boston marking the Huntington Avenue Grounds where the first World Series was played in 1903. A plaque marks a spot on what was previously the left field foul line.
The youngest student ever to graduate college was Michael Kearney, who graduated from the University of South Alabama at the age of 10.
Seven presidents were transfer students: John Quincy Adams, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, Woodrow Wilson, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, and Barack Obama.
DYK science and engineering powerhouse Massachusetts Institute of Technology has one of the top writing programs in the country?!
Approximately 50%-60% of college students change their major at least once during their college career.
Students at Muir College drop a huge--up to 430 pounds!--candy-filled pumpkin every year from their 11-story Tioga Hall. They measure the "splat" the orange monster makes too.
The movie The Exorcist was filmed at Georgetown University, and since then, students have taken to howling at the moon in the campus cemetery on Halloween!
During Dartmouth College's Winter Carnival, students drill an opening through the ice on Occom Pond, tie ropes around their waists, and jump in!
Emory University celebrates Dooley's Week, named for its unofficial mascot, Dooley the skeleton. Dooley himself will wander the campus during this time to excuse students from their classes.
Orgo Night: aka when the Columbia University Marching Band busts into the Butler Library reading room before the big Organic Chemistry exam to play as loudly as they can to, erm, inspire studying students.
Pomona College provides its students with copious amounts of chocolate during the last day of classes.
Yale University students rub the Theodore Dwight Woolsey statue's foot for good luck.
Cornell University kicks off spring break each year with Dragon Day, which includes a parade and dragon made by first-year architecture students.
Indiana University Bloomington hosts the largest collegiate bike race in the United States, the Little 500.
Gatorade is named after the University of Florida Gators athletic teams.
Boise State University is one of 6 schools in the United States to have a non-green playing field. Boise State's Albertsons Stadium, nicknamed "The Blue," is the first blue AstroTurf field in the world.
Northeastern University was founded in 1898 as the Evening Institute for Young Men, in association with the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA).
Northeastern University's Snell Library sees over one million visitors each year.
Founded in 1909, Northeastern University's Cooperative Education ("co-op") Program is one of the first of its kind in the country.
Football star Peyton Manning's major at University of Tennessee at Knoxville was speech communications; he also graduated in just three years and carried a 3.61 GPA.
The founder of Ebay (Pierre Omidyar) graduated from Tufts University.
University of Southern California stood in for Harvard in the movie Legally Blonde.
Pennsylvania State University -- University Park's Nittany Lion statue is rumored to be the second-most photographed object in Pennsylvania, just behind the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.
Monmouth University's Wilson Hall, used for classrooms and administrative offices, was used in the 1982 production of Annie as the home of Daddy Warbucks.
The Boston College fight song has been covered by the popular Boston-based rock band Dropkick Murphys.
Every year, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosts "Halloween on Franklin Street," a community gathering--up to 80,000 people--to celebrate the spooky holiday.
Mr. Rogers attended and Captain Kangaroo received an honorary doctorate degree from Dartmouth College.
The idea for the fraternity in Animal House was inspired by experiences at Alpha Delta Phi fraternity at Dartmouth College.
Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) was a member of Dartmouth College's class of 1925.
Chris Miller, class of 1963, writer of the movie Animal House, and, Chris Miller, class of 1997, writer for the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, both attended Dartmouth College.
Dartmouth College, founded in 1769, was created initially created for the education of Native Americans.
Five women's hockey players in the 2006 Winter Olympics were from Dartmouth College (3 for Canada, 2 for USA).
Daniel Webster, class of 1801, helped shape U.S. legal history when defending Dartmouth College in a now famous 1819 Supreme Court case.
The University of Chicago has the first ever Heisman trophy on display, won by a student athlete there in 1935.
The movie Drumline was filmed at both Clark Atlanta University and Morris Brown College in Georgia.
The fraternity in the movie Drumline is a real Greek organization, Kappa Kappa Psi, the national honorary band fraternity. Accurate Kappa Kappa Psi flags, colors, and chants are featured in the film.
Washington University in St. Louis' campus buildings are adorned by fearsome, whimsical, Gargoyle-esque sculptures called "bosses" or "grotesques." These medieval-inspired shapes include mermaids, scholars, owls, scholarly owls, angels, demons, and even students drinking beer!
Students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute are careful not to step on The Seal found in the middle of the school's Quad--legend says students that do won't graduate on time!
A brick from the original McMicken Hall on the University of Cincinnati campus was placed in the foundation of the Golden Gate Bridge by its chief engineer, Joseph Strauss, a UC grad.
The University of Cincinnati's Medical Library boasts one of the world's most overdue library books, checked out in 1823 and returned by the student's grandson in 1968! Wonder if he had to pay a fee...
The Wren Building on the College of William and Mary campus, completed in 1700, is the oldest academic building in the U.S. to be used continuously.
The unofficial "Triathlon" at the College of William and Mary includes streaking, jumping over a wall, and swimming across a pond. Feats do not need to happen in succession, though some students do so--and sometimes totally naked.
Legend has it that couples who kiss at the crest of the Crim Dell bridge at the College of William and Mary will be together forever.
During freshman orientation at University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor, students walk through the fountain on campus. Following graduation, they walk back through the fountain in the opposite direction, signifying their commitment to lifelong learning.
Many students at University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor will avoid stepping on the brass block "M" in the Diag quad because legend is that any student who steps on it before taking their first blue book exam will fail that exam.
On October 14, 1960, JFK stood on the steps of the University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor Student Union and challenged a group of 5,000 students to serve abroad and promote peace. This speech eventually led to the creation of the Peace Corps.
With a capacity of 109,901, University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor has the largest stadium in the United States, nicknamed the "Big House."
Spectators at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's games typically get to see the school's mascot, Rameses the Ram, as both a costumed performer and a living Horned Dorset Sheep.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill did not choose its nickname and mascot, a ram, based on the feisty animal; rather, they adopted the moniker in honor of the school's 1922 star fullback, Jack "The Battering Ram" Merritt.
Though he only met the man once, Stephen King named a character in his short story The Green Mile after former Emerson College professor Reverend John Coffey.
Every year Emerson College presents the largest student-run awards show, the Evvy Awards, modeled after presentations like the Emmys and Academy Awards.
Freshman orientation at Gettysburg College is held at Stine Lake, which isn't a lake but a large quad that was previously soaked with drainage problems.
The Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College, founded in 1978, was the first college-based survey center in the United States to involve undergraduates in conducting survey research.
University of Missouri -- Columbia has a statue of former governor David R. Francis on campus, and students rub his nose to ensure they'll get an A on their next exam. However, the practice is so popular that the nose has been worn down to the point it needed to be replaced--several times!
Legend has it that Vassar College's Main Building was built so wide to allow for the then-all-female student body to comfortably pass each other while exercising in their hoop skirts.
To start the fall 2012 semester, University of Massachusetts Amherst cooked and served 6,700 pounds of seafood stew--a world record! The previous year, they broke the record for the world's largest stir-fry, which weighed in at two tons.
Columbia University houses the most filmed lecture hall in America: Havemeyer 309 is featured in movies like Spiderman, Kinsey, Ghostbusters, and Mona Lisa Smile.
The modern concept of trivia was created in the 1960s by 2 Columbia University students, who hosted the first intercollegiate quiz bowls, which they called "trivia contests."
Columbia University's Baker Field was the site of the nation's first televised sports event, a baseball game between Columbia and Princeton universities, broadcast by NBC in 1939, and is also Manhattan's only football stadium.
Until 1985, Columbia University owned the land that Rockefeller Center, a famous New York City landmark, was built on.
The iconic lion logo for Goldwyn Pictures, which later became MGM Studios, was inspired by Columbia University's Lion mascot.
South Field, a grassy area in the heart of Columbia University's Morningside Heights campus, was once an athletic field where Lou Gehrig played baseball for Columbia.
Columbia University alumni founded several major publishing houses, including Harcourt Brace, Random House, Alfred A. Knopf, and Simon & Schuster.
Though Harvard University prohibits filming on campus, the same flyover shot of the school appears in the movies Road Trip and Old School.
Kansas State University is located in Manhattan, Kansas, which is nicknamed "The Little Apple."
February 9, 1895: the day the first intercollegiate basketball game was played. The match up? Hamline University and the Minnesota School of Agriculture.
Haverford College boasts the only varsity cricket team in the nation, but the Fords find plenty of opposition from other colleges and clubs in both the fall and spring season.
Swarthmore College's first graduating class, the Class of 1873, consisted of six students: five women and one man.
Meta trivia! Every year since 1966, Williams College has hosted an all-night, eight-hour trivia contest. Winners get to moderate the following year's contest.
Michael Sorrentino, or "The Situation," from the popular MTV show The Jersey Shore dropped out of Monmouth University because of "partying a little too much."
Calling all Harry Potter fans/athletes! You can find Quidditch teams at many colleges and universities across the United States, including Emerson College, Texas A&M, Loyola University Chicago, and Marquette University--just to name a few!
Be ready to go for a swim on your birthday if you attend Hendrix College. It's tradition to throw the birthday boy or girl into the campus fountain!
Keep an eye out for any sparkling, glittery "Disco Trays" in the Hendrix College dining hall. These survivors from the 1960s are said to bring good luck!
Texas A&M University -- College Station students put a penny at the foot of the Sul Ross statue on campus for good luck on their next exam. Legend has it this practice started because a former college president would refuse payment for his tutoring services--except for a single penny.
During the famed Texas A&M University -- College Station Midnight Yell pep rally, students kiss during a period when the lights are turned off. If students don't have a date, they "flick their Bic (a lighter)" to signal other singles so they might too find a kissing partner . . .
The northernmost college in the continental United States is Western Washington University.
Stonehill College is home to the Stonehill Industrial History Center, more commonly known as the Shovel Museum, as it houses a large glass case full of shovels.
Because of its surprisingly strategic location, Plattsburgh, New York, was once a top Soviet nuclear strike target. The giant siren on the SUNY -- Plattsburgh campus was to warn of a nuclear attack.
Contrary to spookier assumptions, the "catacombs" under the MacDonough Hall dorm at SUNY -- Plattsburgh were to serve as bomb shelters, due to fears of a Soviet nuclear strike.
While visiting campus, you may think you see a certain monkey gargoyle "thumbing his nose" at a bust of a former University of Southern California president--you're not imagining it. Allegedly, the building's architect and the president had a feud.
To attend the University of Southern California the year it was founded, 1880, you would've needed to cough up a whopping . . . $15 per semester.
A University of Southern California alumnus has been nominated for an Academy Award every year since they were first presented in 1929.
The Purdue University -- West Lafayette marching band has the largest drum in the world--measuring a whopping 10 feet tall--which was first given to the school in 1921.
Rankin Hall on the The University of Montana campus is said to be haunted by the ghost of its namesake, Jeannette Rankin, the first Congresswoman.
A League of American Bicyclists "Bike Friendly University," Michigan State University has over 12 miles of biking trails and 20,000 bicycle parking spaces on campus.
The Little 500 annual bicycle race, held at Indiana University Bloomington, inspired the 1979 Academy Award-winning movie Breaking Away.
Students at Messiah College and other schools take part in a "primal scream" during finals to yell out their stress!
Students at University of California, Berkeley participate in The Big Game Bonfire Rally, a pep and bonfire rally that takes place at Hearst Greek Theatre on the eve of the "Big Game" against Stanford.
University of Notre Dame's colors, though now blue and gold, were originally blue and yellow--blue to represent truth and yellow to represent light.
Before the curmudgeonly Fighting Irish mascot we know and love today, University of Notre Dame's mascot was an Irish Terrier dog.
The mascot for Vesalius College in Belgium is the silver weasel!
The world's first kidney-pancreas transplant took place at University of Minnesota -- Twin Cities in 1966.
There are two mascots at Bowling Green State University: Freddie and Frieda the Falcons! Freddie came about in 1950, and Frieda joined in 1966 as Mrs. Freddie Falcon, but re-emerged in 1980 as Freddie's little sister sidekick.
Love Bill Nye the Science Guy? He's a graduate of Cornell University, and often teaches there as part of the Frank H.T. Rhodes Visiting Professorship program.
Clemson University was originally part of the University of South Carolina as the Clemson Agricultural College. Agriculture students demanded the expansion of the agriculture department, and after the involvement of Benjamin Tillman, became a separate school.
Cornell University has the distinction of being both a private (endowed) and public (federal land grant) institution. Monies are allocated to fund specific schools within the university: three of its seven undergraduate schools are public; the rest, private.
Cornell University is both a public and private school as a privately endowed university, and also as a partner of the State University of New York. Cornell is the federal land-grant institution of New York State.
We wonder if Stephen Colbert perfected his flair for satire--and his perfectly arched eyebrow--while attending his alma mater, Northwestern University.
The Daily Show frontrunner Jon Stewart was in close proximity to Washington politics as a student at College of William and Mary.
Need room to roam as you pump iron? The weight room at the University of Nebraska -- Lincoln is three-quarters of an acre, making it the largest in the country.
Gettysburg College's Pennsylvania Hall, the school's oldest and most central building, was used as a field hospital during the Civil War battle with which the school shares its name. Many stories allege that the soldiers who died there still linger . . .
Another one of Gettysburg College's many resident ghosts is the Blue Boy, an orphan who some believe froze to death outside Stevens Hall--the dorm he now haunts.
Cornell University lost a shipment of books that was traveling aboard the doomed Titanic.
Dancing was not permitted at Cornell College until 1926, and even then, from 1926 to 1931, students needed permission from their parents to dance.
Edward Kennedy, brother of JFK and future U.S. senator, scored the only touchdown for Harvard University when they played Yale in 1955.
Stephan Jenkins, the lead singer of Third Eye Blind, graduated as valedictorian of his class from University of California, Berkeley.
The first fraternity founded in the South was the W.W.W. (Rainbow Society, not the World Wide Web) at University of Mississippi in 1848.
President Ronald Reagan wasn't only a U.S. President but student president at Eureka College. He even led a revolt against the college president after his attempt to cut the faculty.
From as early as 1917, each Simmons College class would chose a mascot that would accompany them throughout their four years and well into their time as alumnae.
Before its moving to a new facility in Irving, Texas, the Boy Scouts of America's National Scouting Museum was located on the campus of Murray State University in Kentucky.
In the show Seinfeld, characters Jerry and George attended CUNY -- Queens College together.
Shaw Hall at Mount Ida College was named for Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, Jr., the famous Civil War commander who led the all-black 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. He is also the subject of the hit film Glory.
Psy, the one-hit wonder behind "Gangnam Style," attended classes at Berklee College of Music and Boston University, but apparently skipped a lot of classes, calling himself "young and stupid" in a reddit interview.
Scenic Sarah Lawrence College appears in many books, either as a setting or a destination for its characters, including Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger.
Shrewish character Kat Stratford, played by Julia Stiles, wishes to attend and is accepted by Sarah Lawrence College in the 1999 movie 10 Things I Hate About You. In real life, Stiles' costar Larisa Oleynik graduated from the school in 2004.
What do TV characters Eric van der Woodsen (Gossip Girl), Lloyd Lee (Entourage), and Karen Walker (Will & Grace) have in common? They all "attended" Sarah Lawrence College!
In the 1970s, Princeton University seminary students become unwitting participants in a compassion study, in which they passed an actor pretending to be in distress on campus. Their reactions--kind and not so kind--were recorded by a social psychology class.
The University of Rochester's Omega Laser Facility is home to two of the world's most powerful high-energy and high-intensity lasers.
The University of Rochester's a cappella ensembles are among the best in the nation. The Yellowjackets appeared on NBC's The Sing-Off in 2011.
The University of Rochester has a Quidditch team!
Franciscan University of Steubenville is the only college with a minor in human life studies.
St. Lawrence University's alma mater was written by a graduate who also wrote "I'll Be Home for Christmas," and every time the holiday song is performed, St. Lawrence receives a royalty payment.
SUNY Canton College of Technology and St. Lawrence University, both in Canton, New York, are both the closest U.S. universities to the capital of another nation (Ottawa, Canada).
University of Wyoming has the largest single scholarship endowment for study abroad support in the United States.
The Indian mounds on Louisiana State University -- Baton Rouge's campus were created by Native Americans more than 5,000 years ago and functioned as territorial markers or symbols of group identity.
Founded in 1842, Willamette University started as a school designed to educate local Native American children. Today, the school's relationship with Native Americans continues to thrive, including through annual campus Powwows.
In the more than 125 years since its founding, Alma College has stayed true to its roots by keeping its Scottish heritage alive with the team name "Scots" and a marching band clad in kilts.
Folk musician John Denver had one of his first college venue performances at Alma College. The last time he visited, his car broke down and he walked two miles through a blizzard to perform to a full gymnasium of students.
Looking for a college with a view? Look no further than Wagner College. Located on top of Grymes Hill on Staten Island, the campus and dorms offer a view of the New York City skyline and harbor.
The Baldwin Wallace University Riemenschneider Bach Institute is one of only five institutions in North and South America containing manuscripts written in Bach's own hand.
Baldwin Wallace University was the first college in Ohio to offer an undergraduate program in sustainability.
In 1900, when the first athletic team to ever represent DePaul University was organized, the monogram "D" was selected for the uniforms. From this originated the nickname D-Men, which evolved into Demons.
Each winter, students at Northwest Missouri State University jump in the frigid Colden Pond to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Eckerd College was one of the first pet-friendly campuses, with over 300 pets reported living in their four pet-friendly dorms.
Eckerd College has its own Search and Rescue Team that works closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and other state and local agencies. The student team provides maritime assistance to the boaters of Tampa Bay, responding to over 500 calls a year.
The Thunderbirds athletic teams of The University of British Columbia have won 122 national championships, more than any other university in Canada.
Among its research resources, The University of British Columbia has the largest mercury telescope in the world, the largest cyclotron particle accelerator in the world, and three real boreal forests.
Keystone College alum and baseball legend Christy Mathewson attended the school from 1895-1898. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame's charter class, along with Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner.
Keystone College purchased the nine and half-inch refracting telescope in its Thomas G. Cupillari '60 Astronomical Observatory in 1971 from former NBC Today host David Garroway.
Graceland University Coach LD Weldon trained two athletes to achievement in the Olympic Decathlon: Jack Parker (Bronze, 1936) and Bruce Jenner (Gold, 1976).
Graceland University graduate Jeff Criswell was offensive tackle for the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, and Kansas City Chiefs over a stretch of 12 years.
Graceland University graduate Teresa Carpenter received the Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1981. One of her winning stories, published in the Village Voice, was about an institutionalized psychiatric patient who killed his wife on a three-day pass.
The cheerleaders at the University of Wisconsin -- Green Bay also cheer for the Green Bay Packers at all of the games played at historic Lambeau Field!
Monmouth College's military heritage began with the Civil War, when it furnished 232 soldiers and sailors from the student body, faculty, and trustees. A quarter were wounded and one in eight was killed. Two were awarded the Medal of Honor.
Monmouth College is the only Division III school in the Midwest to offer both men's and women's water polo as a varsity sport.
Plant Hall on University of Tampa campus was once the Tampa Bay Hotel, a luxurious winter retreat visited by Teddy Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, the Queen of England, and Red Cross founder Clara Barton.
The William Jessup University campus was once the Herman Miller Furniture Factory. The campus renovations received the Best Rebuild/Renovation Award from the Sacramento Business Journal in March 2005.
Kansas State University students show their purple pride by donating to K-State Proud, an all-university student campaign that has raised more than $550,000 to help fellow students who are struggling financially.
Famed poet Emily Dickinson attended Mount Holyoke College.
The intramural sport flickerball is unique to Davidson College. The College banned touch football due to injuries, so students created a game of tag football with basketball-type passing rules, which is still avidly played to this day.
Former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson attended Davidson College for a year before becoming ill, and later enrolling at Princeton.
The first X-rays ever taken in America were by three Davidson College physics students who snuck into a lab in 1896. They kept their experiments secret for many years, fearing they would be punished.
Messiah College is home to Old Zeke, a human skeleton left to the school in the early 1900s. He was used in Messiah classes from 1909 until 1998. He now hangs out in the school's Oakes Museum.
Students at the Maryland Institute College of Art can take classes in Mount Royal Station, a refurbished train depot and official historic landmark the school acquired and converted into campus spaces in 1964.
The Blue Demon athletic teams at DePaul University acquired their deathly pallor in 1901 by a vote of the student body. The color blue signifies loyalty.
The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability at The University of British Columbia is housed in one of the world's greenest institutional buildings, which contributes more energy and water resources to the environment than it consumes.
New students at Elon University receive an acorn, and after graduating they receive an oak sapling. These woodsy gifts celebrate the beginning of their college careers and subsequent growth, respectively.
Furman Moseley, an Elon University alum, inspired the school's tradition of giving each graduate a sapling after he gave the graduating class of 1991 a redwood sapling, commemorating their future growth--as well as his career in timber.
Eckerd College has more Hollings Scholars than any other college or university in the country, with 46.
Though Northwest Missouri State University's mascot is the bearcat (Bobby the Bearcat, to be precise), an unofficial yeti mascot has been known to make appearances at events.
Roberta Hall, a sorority dorm at Northwest Missouri State University, is said to be haunted by its namesake, Roberta Steele, a student who died following a 1951 dorm fire.
The Cutler Majestic Theater, owned and operated by Emerson College, is said to be haunted by former actors, stagehands, and others. The balcony is particularly prone to hauntings; spring-loaded seats will stay open on their own. Those in the know say "excuse me" when they pass those seats, since they're blocking the ghost's view!
In 2013, the Marist College women's basketball team won its 8th consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship.
Davidson College was founded as a "manual labor" institution in 1837, meaning that students paid for their education by tending crops and livestock. They didn't enjoy the duty much, however, and tuition charges were instated within a very few years.
In the early 1900s, Davidson College kept live versions of its mascots. Wildcat Felix II was stuffed and placed in the trophy room upon his demise. Two new wildcats were then procured. The student body purchased yearling Min for $35. Min was fairly tame and could be led about. Tom was captured in the wild and noted for his ferocity and fighting spirit.
At Davidson College, having your cake and eating it too has since 1930 required two fleet feet! The college annually challenges its incoming students to win their own dessert at the Cake Race, which is the concluding event of Orientation activities. Men and women run separate 1.7 mile races to win one of about 200 cakes on a first finished, first served basis.
In the Davidson College archives is an Arabic Bible that belonged to Omar Ibn Sayyid, a Muslim African slave who lived in the southern states in the early 1800s. He was likely the most educated slave in North Carolina, as well as the author of the only known slave autobiography written in a native language.
With its founding in 1830, Randolph-Macon College is the oldest school affiliated with the Methodist church in the country.
University of North Carolina at Pembroke was founded as Croatan Normal School to educate members of the local Cherokee tribe.
Missouri Baptist University actually started as an extension of Hannibal-LaGrange College in 1957.
Ty Pennington, perhaps best known for hosting ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, attended Kennesaw State University in Georgia.
The Wheaton College Lyon is the official mascot and nickname for Wheaton's athletics teams.
The Dimple is the quad in the center of the Wheaton College campus, and "Dimple Diving" means sliding down the hills in snow (or mud!).
The Head of the Peacock is an annual race that takes place on the pond in "boats" built by students at Wheaton College.
The Wheaton College synchronized swim team appeared in the movie Mona Lisa Smile.
Anyone who auditions can join the cast of Northwestern College's annual dance concert, RUSH. Completely student led, over 200 participants perform many different dances, ranging from hip-hop to steam punk!
The University of West Alabama offers both men's and women's rodeo--yeehaw!
Willamette University (located in Salem, Oregon) is the oldest university west of the Mississippi River. It was founded in 1842!
Nancy Lieberman, the first woman to coach a professional men's basketball team, got her start as an Old Dominion University Lady Monarch.
During the second half of home basketball games at Old Dominion University, the whole arena uses a time out to take part in the one of a kind cheer/dance Ice Cream and Cake.
An annual tradition at Old Dominion University is the Painting of the Paws, where students paint mascot Big Blue's paw prints throughout the campus.
Just south of Kansas State University you'll find the Konza Prairie, one of North America's largest tallgrass prairies. The school also operates the Konza Prairie Biological Field Station.
Manhattan, Kansas, home to Kansas State University, kicks off football season with Purple Power Play on Poyntz, when the city closes downtown's main street so fans can watch fireworks and rally around the football team.
Kansas State University's lecture series has drawn seven U.S. presidents, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and international leaders Mikhail Gorbachev and Vicente Fox. Inaugurated in 1966 by former university President James A. McCain, the series is a tribute to the late Kansas Gov. Alfred M. Landon.
Bust out your Terrible Towels for Indiana University of Pennsylvania alum and Pittsburgh Steelers' founder Art Rooney! Black and yellow! Black and yellow!
Morehouse College has produced three Rhodes Scholars. Only 165 colleges or universities have produced three or more.
President Emeritus Todd A. Milano, who led Central Penn College from 1989-2012, brightened students' days with his "Keep Smiling" motto.
Central Penn College's Fall Harvest tradition includes a polar bear plunge in the school's outdoor swimming pool.
A wrought iron structure built in 1869, Henszeys Bridge, connects Central Penn College's Summerdale campus.
Graduates of Central Penn College can connect with each other through a Graduates Around the Globe interactive, online map.
Look closely at the weathervane atop Kirk Memorial building on the Truman State University campus: it doesn't move! But that's intentional; in 1996, the school welded the weathervane in place so it always points northeast, as an homage to the school's former name, Northeast Missouri State.
Texas Christian University's school colors of purple and white were chosen to represent royalty and clean play.
The horned frog--which is, incidentally, not a frog but a lizard--has been Texas Christian University's mascot since 1897.
The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth began as two local textile schools. The University traces its roots to 1895, when the Massachusetts state legislature chartered the New Bedford Textile School and the Bradford Durfee Textile School in Fall River.
University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth has a 710-acre campus, founded in 1964. The dramatic campus design was the work of architect Paul Rudolph, then dean of Yale's school of Art and Architecture.
The mascot for the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth dates back to 1966 when the Corsair was selected as the athletic logo. A Corsair is defined as a pirate, especially formerly of the Barbary Coast, or a fast ship used for piracy.
Best College Reviews named the Campus Recreation Center at University of Alabama, Birmingham as one of the 25 Most Amazing Campus Student Recreation Centers in the nation.
DePaul University's McGowan Environmental Science and Chemistry Building was the first university science building in Illinois to earn Gold LEED-certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, which recognizes leadership in energy efficiency and environmental design.
Ray Meyer, DePaul University's long-time head varsity basketball coach, earned his 600th career victory in the third game of the 1979 season, one of a handful of coaches to reach this career milestone. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, only the fourth active coach to be so honored.
In 1978, DePaul University bought the storied but soon-to-close Goodman School of Drama from the Art Institute of Chicago, turning luminaries like Linda Hunt and Joe Mantegna into alumni and DePaul's theater school into a nationally ranked program.
Who says gardens need to be Earth-bound? DePaul University students can enjoy a rooftop garden atop the DePaul Center in Chicago's Loop. The school also has a rooftop greenhouse and garden on its Lincoln Park Campus.
DePaul University's Seton Hall was ranked #3 among the nation's 15 best residence halls in the 2012 Dormy Awards.
DePaul University's first two graduates were Mark Ignatius Sheridan, who became superintendent of the City of Chicago Water Department , and William David O'Brien, who became auxiliary bishop of Chicago and later titular archbishop and president of the Catholic Church Extension Society.
DePaul University's green initiatives include over 70 water-bottle refill stations.
DePaul University's College of Law was one of the first law schools in Illinois to admit women and Jewish students.
DePaul University's mascot is named Dibs, which stands for Demon in a Blue Suit.
DePaul University was originally named St. Vincent's College.
DePaul University Theatre School alumnus Michael Rooker co-stars in The Walking Dead.
Four members of the rock band Chicago graduated from DePaul University. The band's original name was Chicago Transit Authority.
DePaul University's Driehaus College of Business is one of the 10 oldest business schools in the nation.
In 1911, DePaul University became one of the first Catholic universities in the nation to admit women to coeducational classes.
The first female civilian scientist in space, Dr. Millie Hughes-Fulford, earned her Ph.D. at Texas Woman's University after being refused admission by other universities because she was a young mother.
Texas Woman's University's longest athletics winning streak stands at 68 consecutive semesters--that's how long student athletes have achieved an overall team GPA of 3.0 or higher. TWU also has been undefeated in football since the University's founding in 1901.
Built in 1939, the Little Chapel-in-the-Woods on the Texas Woman's University Denton campus is one of Texas' outstanding architectural achievements, and Eleanor Roosevelt actually dedicated the building on November 1, 1939.
Dorothy and friends from The Wizard of Oz, scurvy pirates, and various land and sea animals all have made appearances during the annual Spring Fling Golf Cart parade at Texas Woman's University.
Dorothy and friends from The Wizard of Oz, scurvy pirates, and various land and sea animals all have made appearances during the annual Spring Fling Golf Cart parade at Texas Woman's University.
The school's name may be Texas Woman's University, but more than 10% of TWU's enrollment is male. Men have been admitted to TWU since 1972.
Tough guys Dwane "The Rock" Johnson and Sylvester Stallone both attended the University of Miami.
Michigan State University was founded as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan.
From 1862 to 1865, a student could pay $30 in fees to cover all four years of an undergraduate education at Michigan State University.
Purdue University -- West Lafayette educates and inspires many grade school youth by providing reading materials and workshops for Indiana 4-H clubs.
Andy Griffith, Michael Jordan, and James K. Polk all went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Southeastern Bible College was founded because of a challenge made in 1933 by Dr. Harry A. Ironside, charging a group of businessmen to establish a Bible school.
While at Harvard University as an undergraduate, Conan O'Brien wrote for its comedy publication, The Harvard Lampoon.
In the United States, the words "college" and "university" have similar meaning. However, in other countries "college" tends to mean junior or trade school, where the word "university" describes a larger research-oriented institution, which contains many colleges.
Yale University has the second-largest academic library in the nation, with over 9.5 million volumes.
President Henry Hoover met his wife, Lou, as a senior at Stanford University.
If you're the funniest guy on the men's soccer team at the College of William and Mary, you may be lucky enough to take its Leibo Award home, named in honor of alum Jon (Leibowitz) Stewart.
At the University of Idaho, you'll find the Hello Walk, a campus pathway named for former university Alfred Upham, who insisted--and later mandated--that people greet every person they passed.
There are only three all-male, four-year standalone, non-religious colleges left in the United States: Wabash College, Hampden-Sydney College, and Morehouse College.
Early colleges in the US were forced to take unconventional forms of payments when times got tough. For instance, they accepted payments in the form of cotton, sheep, pewter, and food.
Some of New York City's favorite sons attended Manhattan College: former mayor Rudy Giuliani, best-selling author James Patterson, and NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly.
Good Will Hunting took place at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Matt Damon played an MIT janitor in the 1997 film.
Ashley Judd graduated from University of Kentucky. Her photo is used for sports promotion for the school.
Rice Krispies Treats were co-created by an alumna of Iowa State University. Mmm...marshmallowy.
Brown University began its illustrious existence in 1764 as The College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
Have you ever heard of the esteemed Brown University professor Josiah S. Carberry? His legacy lives on throughout the campus, such as Josiah's restaurant and the Carberry Fund for books. He taught psychoceramics--the study of cracked pots. And, oh yes, he probably, almost definitely never actually existed and was simply part of an ongoing prank that dates back to 1929.
Brown University opens its Van Wickle Gates twice each year: during Convocation and Commencement. Legend has it that students who pass through the gate on any other occasion will be cursed!
Brown University's Sayles Hall is home to the largest remaining Hutchings-Votey organ. Students gather in the hall on Halloween night to hear spooky dirges played on the instrument and around Christmastime for holiday concerts performed by campus musical groups.
The word "university" is a shorter version of the Latin "universitas magistrorum et scholarium" which means "a community of masters and scholars."
In the U.S. alone, there are over 4,000 accredited colleges and universities, with over 15 million students and grants awarding over two million degrees per year.
The traditional graduation cap was originally a hood and is believed to date back to Celtic times when Druid priests would wear capes and hoods as a symbol of intelligence.
Only 14% of college freshmen attend college 500 or more miles from their home.
In 2012 76% of freshmen were accepted into their first choice for college.
The movie Animal House was supposed to be filmed at the University of Missouri -- Columbia, but the school's president declined permission after reading the script. Production moved to the University of Oregon, whose president had previously denied permission to a little film called The Graduate--a mistake he later realized and decided not to repeat.
An over 60-year-old tradition, Baylor University students celebrate "Dr Pepper Hour," with free soda every Tuesday afternoon from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. It started as "Coke Hour," but the school switched beverages when locally made Dr Pepper became the school's official soft drink in 1997.
University of California -- Los Angeles's 1949 junior prom featured not one but two Hollywood legends: Bob Hope served as master of ceremonies and students could win a date with Elizabeth Taylor.
University of California -- Los Angeles canceled classes on January 15, 1932, due to an event that went down in history as "The Big Snow." (Two inches of snow fell.)
The fraternity and sorority houses were built on opposite sides of University of California -- Los Angeles's campus at the insistence of the Dean of Women at the time, as she felt it would discourage the students from late night...fraternizing.
University of California -- Los Angeles's Founders' Rock clocks in at a respectable 75 tons.
The men's and women's gyms at University of California -- Los Angeles were intentionally built at the bottom of a hill, as the top of the hill represented pursuits of the mind and its bottom represented pursuits of physical strength and fitness.
University of California -- Los Angeles alum Jackie Robinson was the first person in the school's history to earn a letter in four sports: baseball, basketball, football, and track.
The inverted fountain on University of California -- Los Angeles's campus circulates 10,000 gallons of water each minute, and its unique design was inspired by the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park.
Each fall, Arcadia University holds its Mr. Beaver pageant, where the young men on campus compete in a traditional beauty contest--including wearing beautiful gowns. Judging is based on swimsuit, talent, and question portions.
Arcadia University was founded as Beaver College, a women's seminary.
The Ohio State University -- Columbus victory bell that rings after every win weighs 2,420 pounds and allegedly can be heard almost five miles away.
In the 1940s, the University of Oregon mascot, Puddles, resembled a certain Disney duck--a fact not lost on Walt Disney himself. However, when Disney finally met then Oregon athletic director Leo Harris in 1947, the two men agreed over a handshake that the school could use Donald Duck as its mascot.
University of Oregon student Phil Knight and former track coach Bill Bowerman founded the company Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964. But you may know their business by its current name, adopted in 1978: Nike.
Students at Carnegie Mellon University have made a storied tradition out of painting "The Fence" on campus. They can paint practically whatever message they want, but it must be done by hand, with a brush, and between midnight and sunrise.
The first true "university," defined as a higher education institution with more than one faculty, in the United States was the University of Pennsylvania, so named in 1779.
University of Pennsylvania students compete for the coveted House Cup, awarded to the residents of the winningest residence hall after a year-long series of intramural events!
One senior class tradition at the University of Pennsylvania involves planting a piece of ivy. The first piece of ivy planted on the aptly named Ivy Day came all the way from Kenilworth Castle in Scotland.
University of Pennsylvania students can get some of the best seats in the house for basketball games at the Palestra, a.k.a. the Cathedral of College Basketball--but only if they wait for hours in "The Line," a rotating time and place of sale that changes every year and is kept secret until that day.
Scott Fahlman, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, created the smiley face emoticon. :-)
Northern Michigan University is the only college campus home to a U.S. Olympic training center.
The "sibling rivalry" noted between Brigham Young University -- Provo and the University of Utah is surprisingly accurate--Brigham Young is their "father," having ostensibly founded them both.
You might notice some interesting ivy creeping up the walls of the The University of Utah. The school was the first in the country to install "solar ivy," where each "leaf" is actually a solar panel.
For decades, the University of Nebraska -- Lincoln's fans celebrated the Huskers' first touchdown by releasing 4,000-5,000 balloons. However, the tradition was indefinitely postponed after the September 1, 2012, game due to a helium shortage.
When the Auburn University Tigers football team wins a game, fans celebrate by toilet-papering, or "rolling," two oak trees in front of the local Toomer's Drugs--a University-approved tradition!
To improve their luck and as a "symbolic act of cleansing," Syracuse University football players burn their practice cleats.
West Virginia University students have a penchant for celebrating their school's athletic victories by setting a couch--yup, a couch--ablaze, either in a dumpster or just on the street.
During exam week, Canada's Dalhousie University offers its students a "puppy room" full of adorable therapy dogs, provided by Therapeutic Paws of Canada.
Endicott College's scenic seaside campus is allegedly home to multiple spirits. One is a young woman in white who wanders around Winthrop Hall and nearby cliffs. People say she took her life after learning her husband would never return from sea--but waits for him still.
One of Berklee College of Music's dormitories was once a hotel and the site of a fire that took several lives. Students say they still see the victims of the blaze wandering their living quarters.
The fourth floor of Shelton Hall at Boston University is the writing students' dorm, which is fitting as playwright Eugene O'Neil lived--and died--in room 401 back when it was a hotel. Students say lights in his former room sometimes flicker and the elevator stops unprovoked at that floor.
Not only do Merrimack College students smell smoke and hear fire alarms when no fire is in sight, the ghost of a firefighter is supposed to haunt this North Andover school. His clothes are charred and he may wield an axe.
Pine Manor College students report seeing strange lights around the school's Main House administration building and feeling uneasy . . . as though they are being watched.
Students at the University of Pennsylvania throw toast (or bread) onto the field during the third quarter of every home football game--a literal "toast," since doing so with alcohol was banned during Prohibition, and the crispy, buttery practice just stuck!
"Only in Southern California" can you go skiing in the morning and surfing in the afternoon, and that's just what Pomona College students do each year on Ski/Beach Day.
"Serenading" at Vassar College takes a different tune, with upperclassmen greeting newbies with less-than-charitable songs and behavior, such as (once upon a time) dousing freshmen in ketchup and chocolate syrup! But the school recently limited students to just throwing water along with their singing.
As the group advertises, "Like Latex? Like Art? Like Dancing? Like Nudity? Like Friends?" Then join the Liquid Latex performing arts group at Brandeis University! Their annual show features artfully painted (almost) nude students and unique choreography.
Purdue University -- West Lafayette is home to the world's largest drum, played (loudly) before home football games.
Legend has it that a cow wandered onto the field during a game between rivals Mississippi State University and Ole Miss. Because State U supposedly won that game, fans ring cowbells to this day to honor the bovine good luck charm.
Do you know how to Gator Chomp? It's an important part of being a University of Florida fan at a game! You just extend your arms out in front of you, palms facing each other, and get those gator jaws going!
Students at Rollins College keep their eyes on the quad each spring, looking for a fox statue. Eventually it will appear, a surprise from the president--and a signal that the day's classes have been canceled.
The Ramblin Wreck from Georgia Tech, which has driven out onto the field for Georgia Institute of Technology home games since 1961, is a 1930 Ford Model A Sport coupe.
At Pace University, M.F.A. candidates participate in Craft Seminars, which are known to the world as Bravo's Inside the Actors Studio and are hosted by James Lipton, Dean Emeritus of the Actors Studio Drama School.
The University of Virginia was founded by our third president, Thomas Jefferson, and built on land purchased by our fifth, James Monroe.
West Virginia University fan? Well, then surely you know the words to John Denver's classic song "Take Me Home Country Roads"! It has been sung before every home game since 1972.
Pinkies up! Students can partake in a weekday afternoon tea and coffee service in Macmillan Hall's Art Exhibition Room at Wells College.
No, you're not imagining it--that really is a horse-drawn covered wagon rambling across the football field at the University of Oklahoma! The Sooner Schooner is the school's official mascot.
An unbroken series of bulldogs has served as the University of Georgia's official mascot, Uga, since 1956.
Cover your ears--and maybe wear bright orange--when you go to a West Virginia University home game. Their Mountaineer mascot fires a musket whenever the team scores!
West Virginia University's mascot, the Mountaineer, is an honored role bestowed upon a current student, following a lengthy application process. In addition to the fame, the position comes with a scholarship. And they earn it: the Mountaineer attends as many as 300 campus events each year!
Did you know that under the genuine bearskin cape, coonskin cap, and flannel shirt, the West Virginia University's Mountaineer mascot is played by a current student? Oh, and the rifle they're carrying is real too!
ROTC cadets on the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University campus honor the school's history as a military institution by engaging civilians in a crazed snowball brawl after the first big snowfall each year.
Alright, sports fans. Pick a side: Lehigh University or Lafayette?!? These two schools have been fierce rivals for over a century, since 1884!
It's essential that you know the House of Pain song "Jump Around" if you're a University of Wisconsin -- Madison fan. They kickoff the fourth quarter at Camp Randall Stadium by singing it . . . and, you know, jumping around.
Every residence hall at University of Notre Dame has a chapel.
Painting messages (ads, political messages, birthday notes, etc.) on the cannon replica on the Tufts University campus is a competitive affair--and one that only happens only at night.
Acts that have performed at Tufts University's annual Spring Fling include Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, LL Cool J, Ben Folds Five, Reel Big Fish, Guster, Lupe Fiasco, Dropkick Murphys, Ludacris, and OK Go.
A rogue, anonymous group leaves pumpkins in fun and funny places all over the Tufts University campus each year around Halloween. The school calls it "pumpkining!"
Ever have a dream where you're flying down the street while still in your bed? At Lehigh University, that dream is spectacularly realized, with their annual Bed Races! Teams of five (four pushers and a rider) send a decorated dorm bed "car" careening down Library Drive!
Portland, Oregon's Reed College, an all undergrad institution, has its own nuclear reactor on campus, and if that wasn't cool enough, it has more female operators than all the other research reactors in the world . . . combined.
According to USA Today, from 2006-2011, only eight NCAA D-I public schools did not receive subsidies from the school in funding their athletics departments: LSU, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Purdue, Texas, and Texas A&M.
Know your student nicknames, part I: Reed College students are known as "Reedies," Emerson College students are "Emersonians," Michigan State students are "Spartans," and University of Maine students are "Maineiacs!"
Make sure you grab a lance and a giant turkey leg for the Renn Fayre at Reed College! (Okay, maybe not the lance.) This academic-year-end campus festival celebrates Renaissance music, food, sports, and art. It also happens to celebrate seniors turning in their theses!
Between 1978 and 2008, the price of textbooks increased 812%. Not to be outdone, tuition and fees increased by a whopping 1,200% in the same period. (FYI, that's outpacing inflation by roughly 300%.)
Considering moving to the Great White North? If you hold a degree from an approved Canadian college program, the government of Saskatchewan will reimburse up to $20,000 of your tuition costs if you live in the area for seven years.
Did you know that Martin Luther King, Jr. graduated from Morehouse College when he was 19? (He graduated high school at 15!)
Myth debunked! The Ivy League did not get its green name from the first four members being the "IV" league (in Roman numerals). Rather, its origins are a mystery, though many point to the first known usage in a newspaper story from the 1930s.
Students at Los Angeles City College who imagine they're seeing comedian Joel McHale's tall frame walking around campus aren't hallucinating. His hit show "Community" is shot there.
In 1925, a Dartmouth College student named Theodor Geisel was busted for illegal drinking and subsequently banned from extracurricular activities. He skirted the rules by adopting a pen name--(Dr.) Seuss--so he could continue contributing to the school's humor magazine.
The first class ring was created by students in the United States Military Academy's Class of 1835. They wanted the ring to symbolize their achievement in graduating.
San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan completed his education at , despite being considered a major contender for the NBA draft during his sophomore year. Not only had he promised his dying mother he would do so; he was also a very gifted student.
Charles Hall, who developed the process of reducing aluminum to the super-thin sheets we know today, was inspired to capitalize on the metal after hearing a lecture on aluminum from his Oberlin College professor Frank Fanning Jewett.
Actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Matthew Fox attended Columbia University, but neither studied theater. Gyllenhaal majored in Eastern religion and philosophy and Fox majored in economics.
In 1916, about 36 years before becoming president, U.S. Army Lieutenant Dwight D. Eisenhower served as football coach at St. Louis College, now St. Mary's University of San Antonio, in Texas.
Roses are red, violets are blue, and Carleton College students send flowers to each other's campus mailboxes on Fridays in an adorable floral display of affection. (What? Not all poems need to rhyme!)
Carleton College students manage to skirt library regulations by holding a Silent Dance Party--using shared playlists, headphones, and synchronizing when they press play--at 11:00 p.m. one of the nights before finals, right there in the stacks.
Since 1957, Carleton College students have taken to displaying a plaster bust of German poet Friedrich Von Schiller randomly around campus. A game surrounds who can steal and place the statue, but the practice's general purpose and origins are still something of a mystery!
Ever heard of George P. Burdell? Even if you have, you'll never meet him. That's because his existence is a practical joke, created by a Georgia Institute of Technology student in 1927 after receiving an extra enrollment form. Even so, Burdell has managed to earn multiple degrees from the school. He also got married.
Reed College celebrates Seventh Annual Nitrogen Day . . . every year. The seventh element (get it?!) is honored with multiple festivities, including a Nitrogen-themed haiku festival.
Every year, students at Barnard College are treated to Big Sub day, where they all chow down on 700+ feet of delicious submarine sandwich at 7:00 p.m. on the dot. Due to its massive size, students are given a guide to navigate the different fillings.
The University of Maine Black Bears mascot is named Bananas after a real black bear cub was brought to a football game in 1914--his tricks made the crowd go "bananas"!
According to 2010 data and research compiled by Forbes, the male-female ratio amongst all college student populations is roughly 43.6:56.4.
In April 2014, Indiana Wesleyan University created the Bastian Center for the Study of Human Trafficking. The first of its kind, the Center will bring IWU's people and resources to bear on in the study of and fight against the human trafficking industry.
Boston College's motto, "Ever to Excel," comes from Homer's Iliad, 6th Book.
In 1932, F. Scott Fitzgerald finished "Tender is the Night" while living at the now-demolished La Paix estate, located just 200 yards south of Towson University. Towson students would frequently see him roaring up York Road in his Stutz Bearcat!
In fall 2014, Towson University offered an undergraduate course titled "Blood Lust and the American Dream." Its content focused on representations of vampires in popular media, from literary origins in the late 19th century through to recent incarnations on screen.
Loras College is the oldest college in Iowa.
University of Rochester is a green campus with sustainability initiatives like dripless shower faucets, solar-powered recycling compactors, and locally grown food provided across campus.
University of Rochester has an official Quidditch team, the UR Thestrals, that competes in the World Cup of the International Quidditch Association.
On the Mount St. Mary's University campus in Emmitburg, Maryland, you'll find the Grotto, a serene spiritual space that includes a statue of the Our Lady of Lourdes, hundreds of candles, the Grotto stream, a statue of St. Bernadette, and benches for reflection.
Should a Texas A&M University -- College Station student pass away, the school honors them with a beautiful, solemn Silver Taps ceremony, which includes a special rendition of Taps played to the North, South, and West but not to the East, as the sun will never rise on that Aggie's life again.
The hilarious exploits of notorious and apparently ageless Bethel College prankster Herman Bubbert can be found at www.cowsinthelibrary.com.
Kester International Promenade at High Point University is home to many incredible sculptures of historical figures, including Mother Teresa, Leonardo DaVinci, Sacajawea, and Ludwig van Beethoven. And since they're all plopped down on benches, you can take a seat (and a selfie) next to them!
Students admiring the beautiful Cherry Tree Allee at University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth in the spring have Dartmouth resident Lloyd MacDonald to thank. He donated the 31 trees lining the walkway.
College of the Atlantic's research station on Mount Desert Rock is 25 nautical miles off the coast of Maine and the most remote research station on the eastern seaboard.
Struck by the white, gleaming castle-like structure towering over Pittsburgh? It's not a church, but it is a cathedral . . . the Cathedral of Learning at University of Pittsburgh. It was inspired by classic Gothic architecture and commissioned in 1921. (And it's just as impressive inside!)
College of the Atlantic is getting off the grid! Grid-tied solar and wind energy produce electricity for the school's 73-acre Beech Hill Farm.
College of the Atlantic has sent student delegations to every UN Climate Change Negotiation since 2006.
Are you a fan of the blockbusters Die Hard: With a Vengeance, Jumanji, and Armageddon? (And who isn't?!) You can thank UMass Amherst (and Tulane Law) alumnus Jonathan Hensleigh, who penned their screenplays.
On a bright fall day, the president of Mount Holyoke College declares a surprise holiday from classes, and many celebrate "Mountain Day" by hiking up the College's namesake peak.
Every May Mount Holyoke College seniors celebrate their graduation by wearing white and parading through crowds of alumnae. They carry two long mountain laurel garlands through the parade, which they then bring to the grave of the College's founder, Mary Lyon.
Mount Holyoke College was the first of the Seven Sisters, the female equivalent of the once predominantly male Ivy League.
In the 1830s Mount Holyoke College founder Mary Lyon traveled thousands of miles to raise funds for the institution. The green velvet bag she used to collect donations is still in the College archives.
Mount Holyoke College was the first U.S. college to use the A, B, C, D, F grading system.
The system used globally to evaluate the health of newborn babies was developed by Mount Holyoke College graduate Dr. Virginia Apgar.
Mount Holyoke College is the oldest college for women in the United States. It was founded in 1837, a time when many doubted women's capacity for higher learning and nearly a century before women gained the right to vote.
Mount Holyoke College students take part in a long-standing campus tradition known as M&Cs. This stands for milk and crackers, the snack provided in all dorms as a study break and a social event each week.
The tallest building in Wyoming is White Hall, a 12-story dorm on the University of Wyoming campus.
Lafayette College could've competed in the 1949 Sun Bowl, but they declined because student player David Showell, a black Army Air Corps veteran, was barred from the event due to his race. But the incident exposed some of the discrimination in college football at the time, and three years later the Sun Bowl was integrated.
Since their first matchup in 1884, Lafayette College vs. Lehigh is the most-played rivalry in college football. The 150th meeting of the teams was held in Yankee Stadium in 2014.
The invention of the football helmet is largely credited to Lafayette College student George Barclay, who worked with a saddle maker to create it in 1894.
Lafayette College coach Herb McCracken is credited with inventing the football huddle, using it in 1924 to avoid the prying eyes of the University of Pennsylvania team.
Pacific Lutheran University takes recycling seriously. Rifle-through-garbage seriously. The school sponsored a daylong, campus-wide Garbology event where they picked recyclables from the trash.
Craving chocolate while you . . . brush your teeth? A Tulane University alum has you covered with the chocolate-based toothpaste he invented.
Founded on November 10, 1775, Hampden-Sydney College is the 10th-oldest college in the United States.
For many years the Bruin mascot at George Fox University was more than a campus symbol; the bearskin belonging to the bear that inspired the nickname was physically passed down from class to class. Sometimes it even went on senior class outings! A replica is used today.
The term Duhawk,Loras College's mascot, was first coined in a Detroit Free Press article in 1962 referring to the football team.
The Loras College Duhawk Dance Marathon has been the #1 such fundraiser per capita in the nation since 2009.
Loras College constructed Iowa's first seismograph station on the campus in 1961 to record Earth movements during earthquakes.
Drury University's Animal Studies program was made possible by a gift from alumnus and animal lover Bob Barker of The Price is Right fame.
Drury University opened in 1873 in the wake of the Civil War. Its founders felt that education could help heal the wounds of war. Five women made up the first graduating class.
It's a tradition at Indiana Wesleyan University that every dorm unit participate in the Bowman Boat Race, where students build a life-size boat to paddle across the campus lake. Oh, and the boats are made of cardboard. Needless to say, most students wear a lifejacket.
Campus tradition (and unspoken law) says all Wheaton College students must swim Peacock Pond before they graduate.
Don't get caught walking through the front door if you're an underclassman at Wheaton College. It's an unofficial "rule" that only seniors get to do that!
Fried, baked, mashed: potatoes might be the world's most perfect food, however you cook them. And at Tulane University, they cook them often, clocking in around 30,200 pounds of potatoes each school year in the Bruff Commons Dining Room alone.
Founded in 1766, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey -- New Brunswick is the eighth-oldest college in the United States.
College football fan? You have Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey -- New Brunswick and Princeton to thank; they launched the venerable tradition when they played the first official intercollegiate American football game in 1869.
Breaking down barriers even back in the day, Willamette University was one of the first co-ed colleges in the country. The school's first graduate was actually a woman.
The University of Rochester has not one but two of the world's most crazy-powerful lasers. (Maybe Dr. Evil was once a faculty member?)
The Big Event, Texas A&M University -- College Station's annual day of service, is the largest single-day event of its kind, with 20,000+ students pitching in to help and thank the surrounding community.
He's big, he's tough, he drools: he's Nelson, the Saint Bernard mascot at Aquinas College!
Catholic colleges and universities in the United States didn't go co-ed until Aquinas College in Michigan started the trend in 1931.
The Baylor University is the oldest university in the state of Texas still operating.
Just imagine: dinner by candlelight...with your history professor. Students and faculty at Scripps College share Candlelight Dinners four times a year (and have done so in some fashion since 1927!) to foster a sense of community.
Since 1931 the genteel students of Scripps College have gathered for Afternoon Tea and refreshments every Wednesday afternoon while school is in session.
Undergraduate students still have to fulfill a swimming requirement to graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Students deliver their honors theses in style at Wheaton College: First, they gussy up their academic robes, decorating them like costumes. Then they parade around with their professors to "The March of Acid-Free Paper." Because why not?
Rivals Grand Valley State University and Saginaw Valley State University compete to see who can raise the most money for charity in their annual Battle of the Valleys.
The epic rivalry between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, extending to academics, athletics, and even wine-tasting, dates back to the 13th century.
The exact founding of the University of Oxford is unknown, though it is estimated to have occurred in the year 1096. It is the oldest English-language university in the world and second-oldest school in continual operation.
The oldest universities in the world, in order of their (estimated) founding, are the Universities of Bologna (Italy), Oxford (U.K.), Salamanca (Spain), Cambridge (U.K.), and Padua (Italy).
According to his bio on the University of North Carolina at Pembroke website, mascot BraveHawk's favorite foods include fish tacos and squirrel pie, favorite actor is Russell Crowe, and his favorite videogame? Angry Birds.
The famed annual Drake University Relays have been a campus tradition for more than a century.
Hope College hosts its epic tug-of-war contest, "The Pull," every year, with 18 "pullers" on each side.
Could you dance for 46 hours straight? No sleeping. No sitting. Just dancing? Pennsylvania State University -- University Park students do every year in their legendary THON Weekend fundraiser for pediatric cancer.
Students at Le Moyne College eagerly wait to see late-night fireworks each spring, because those 2 a.m. lights in the sky mean that Dolphy Day, a surprise day off full of parties, has begun.
"Every May, since 1987, the University of Chicago has hosted the largest and best scavenger hunt in the world." At least, so they say. "Scav" spans four days; the hunt list is expansive and exhaustive; and festivities include games, a blood drive, and a road trip.
Students can opt to shack up in the cozy, domed, sustainability-driven yurt housing community at University of California, Davis, officially known as Baggins End. (Yup, like Bilbo.)
Back when she was still known as Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, Lana Del Rey signed her first record deal while still a senior at Fordham University.
After Hurricane Katrina hit, Tulane University's Howard Tilton Memorial Library staff came back to eight feet of water in the basement. But they still managed to get the library ready to open for classes four months later.
At the University of Central Florida, students take "Spirit Splash" literally, as they charge into the school's Reflecting Pond during homecoming weekend. The marching band even cheers them on while they do it!
You gotta feel a little bad for the President and other administrators of Aquinas College: the beautiful old building housing their offices (Holmdene) is said to be haunted by multiple ghosts!
Old Dominion University was actually founded as an extension of both the College of William and Mary, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
Stephen Hawking was a coxswain (in charge of steering) for his crew team while an undergraduate student at Oxford.
Who needs steel when you have...cardboard? Students living in Northwestern College's Hospers Hall forge their own weapons and armor out of cardboard and duct tape to engage in the aptly named Cardboard and Duct Tape Battle each spring.
During finals University of California, Davis partners with the local SPCA to provide students "Therapy Fluffies" with certified therapy dogs and rescue pets.
Sleepy University of California, Davis students can keep their minds and bodies fresh with hammocks on the quad and a "campus nap map" with all the best places to catch a few ZZZs.
Spring Hill College is home to the oldest continually used baseball field in the country.
Loyola University Chicago's mascot, Lu Wolf, was inspired the wolves appearing on the coat of arms of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the school's namesake.
Located in the sunny state of Florida, the University of Miami's school colors (not so shockingly) represent the orange tree: green for the leaves, white for the blossoms, and orange for the duh.
Despite his Austrian roots, Arnold Schwarzenegger graduated from the University of Wisconsin -- Superior with a B.A. In International Marketing of Fitness and Business Administration.
You gotta feel for the students in Clark Hall at Scripps College. It's said to be haunted by multiple spirits, and students have experienced moved objects, darting shadows, and even the occasional ghost stopping by to say hello!
Stressed-out The Ohio State University -- Columbus students can take advantage of Pete's Pet Posse, OSU's on-campus Pet Therapy Program.
Housed in the University of Miami's on-campus Sports Hall of Fame, you'll find an authentic Seminole war canoe, hand carved and painted by tribes people, and gifted to the school on behalf of the city of Hollywood, Florida, in 1955.
According to a recent UCLA study, 75% of college freshmen were accepted to their first choice-college...but only 40% of those students ended up going to that school. The biggest reason? Money.
Though legend says St. Mary's University got its Rattler nickname due to the football practice field being overrun with diamondback rattlesnakes, the truth is a little more benign: a staff member suggested it.
October is a glorious time for a Pterodactyl Hunt, don't you think? At least that's the case at Swarthmore College. Students don garbage bag "armor" and wield foam swords to fight pterodactyls (amongst other beasts!) for one crazy campus night.
Fan of Grey's Anatomy and its characters? McDreamy Derek Shepherd went to Bowdoin College in Maine. Meredith Grey attended Dartmouth College. And Cristina Yang went to Smith College as an undergrad and then Stanford.
Among events like casino night, comedians, and Outdoor Olympics, Maryville University of St. Louis students can also partake in pudding wrestling.
At the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, first-year students are "dubbed" Crusaders for life just like knights of old: with a real sword.
You don't need to worry about getting lost in the Labyrinth terrace at the University of Redlands--it's totally flat and more for decorative purposes. But you can try to follow the path to "escape" it anyway.
Tracing its roots to the first boarding school for girls in the original 13 colonies, Moravian College was founded in 1742--by a 16-year-old girl, no less. Her name? Countess Benigna von Zinzendorf.
Texas A&M University -- College Station's tradition of the Twelfth Man dates back to 1922, when former football player E. King Gill stood at the ready to help his teammates in their game against Centre College.
Florida State University has a dirty tradition: collecting a piece of sod from the fields where the Seminole football team won noteworthy games. The earthy trophy is then brought back to campus and buried in their "sod cemetery."
Only those students graduating in an odd-year class are eligible to audition for The Oddballs, a four-member spirit group at Meredith College.
Miami University -- Oxford folklore says couples who kiss under the Upham Arch on campus will get married. That might explain the school's 13.5% "Miami Merger" rate, aka alumni who marry other alumni!
Miami University -- Oxford claims they have the highest alumni marriage rate (alumni who marry other alumni): 13.5%! In fact, every year, the school's Alumni Association sends Valentine's Day cards to all of those "Miami Mergers."
The founding of Southern Methodist University was largely a result of a conflict between the United Methodist Church and Vanderbilt University. The church and school severed ties in 1914, and the church made SMU its new flagship institution.
Contrary to popular belief, the character of Professor Keating in Dead Poets Society is not based on a Vanderbilt University teacher. A school alumnus did write the screenplay, but it was based on his experiences at a private high school.
Students at Austin Peay State University really embrace imperfections! The campus landscape is prone to sinkholes, and students enjoy "the bowls" by using them studying, lounging, Frisbee, and other activities.
Clemson University has its very own brand of blue cheese. Produced, cured, and sold right on campus, this delicacy has been made since 1941, started by a Clemson professor.
At the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, freshmen are responsible for creating the homecoming bonfire...using an old wooden outhouse. If the outhouse collapses, tradition says their team will win the homecoming game!
Hundreds of students gather on the quad of Vassar College at midnight on the eve of final exams. In unison, everyone lets out their most primal scream to release all their stress and worry. Yowza.
Shhh! There is a secret society of just 6 chosen students at Bowling Green State University. Since 1946, 2 sophomores, 2 juniors, and 2 seniors each year join SIC SIC. They wear masks and overalls, never revealing themselves but boosting the spirit of the student body through signs and appearing at athletic events. And if anyone's identity is revealed, they're instantly replaced!
A slightly morbid tradition started in 1865 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute saw elaborate staged memorial services called Calculus Cremations to celebrate the end of dreaded calculus class.
Texas A&M University -- Corpus Christi's slogan is "The Island University." Why? Because it is the only university in the nation that is located on its very own island!
In 1924 Brigham Young University -- Provo owned 2 live cougars (their mascot) that would prowl the sidelines of BYU games. But the pair got loose in 1929, killing 2 dogs and stalking local livestock! Probably why they stick with the lovable costumed Cosmo the Cougar these days...
Every four years, the faculty at Meredith College perform Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland for the students.
Because Coca-Cola Company founder Asa Candler was a large benefactor in the creation of Emory University, to this day it is considered poor school spirit to drink any other brand of soda on campus!
Every year students at Princeton University compete in something called the Cane Spree, where a freshman and sophomore tussle over control of a cane. The tradition dates back to the 1800s, when people actually carried canes.
The Dartmouth College English department serves tea and cookies in the Sanborn Library every weekday at 4:00 pm.
Cornell University was the first university in the United States to offer a major in American Studies and the first in the world to award a degree in Journalism.
The Brown University engineering program is the oldest out of all of the Ivy League schools.
Columbia University's renowned journalism school was started in 1912 at the bequest of newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, who wrote The Great Gatsby, attended Princeton University, and his college years inspired much of his work.
The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania was the first collegiate business school in the United States.
University of Pennsylvania was founded by Benjamin Franklin.
Yale University boasts a nearly unheard of 99% freshman-to-sophomore retention rate (as of 2017), meaning almost all of the students who attend Yale for their freshman year return for sophomore year.
Depending on what you're counting, at least 27 and up to 134 Nobel Prize Laureates are somehow affiliated with Harvard University (as of February 2017).
A fish tank in one of Saint Leo University's apartment buildings was featured on the TV show Tanked in 2013.
The University of Miami school colors represent the colors of the Florida orange tree: green for the leaves, white for the blossoms, and orange for, well, you know.
Texas A&M University -- College Station's Twelfth Man tradition was born in 1922, when injuries left the Aggies scrambling for players. The football coach called a former member from the stands and had him get ready to play. He was never needed, but when the game ended (which A&M won, BTW), he was the only man left standing on the sidelines.
When the University of Oxford was in need of new oak beams for a dining hall, the school discovered that the original builders had planted them replacement trees hundreds of years before.
It was a college student who discovered that the 27th Amendment could still technically be ratified. And he got a C on the research paper he wrote about it. Ten years later the 27th Amendment was successfully ratified.
Many students at Scripps College have reported seeing multiple campus ghosts, including a woman in white who some think is the spirit of a former student dressed up for the school's annual holiday Medieval dinner.
Reed College's twice-annual Canyon Day involves planting native trees and shrubs in Reed Canyon.
At Reed College Renn Fayre (originally a one-day Renaissance fair) has evolved into an annual weeklong celebration with music, refreshments, fireworks, arts, and sports. The week kicks off with the thesis parade as seniors march from the library steps to the registrar's office.
At Reed College, "Scroungers" sometimes sit at the end of the cafeteria and are given leftover food by other students. Considered "environmentally friendly," one Scrounger noted, "We have very little cafeteria waste."