The major academic buildings are arranged around this large grassy rectangle.
Many informal and formal activities take place on the academic quad including Quadfest in the fall, and the Stomp the Lawn concert and commencement
in the spring. The original gothic buildings on the academic quad are
on the National Register of Historic Places. Dr. Thornwell Jacobs called
the granite halls the "Silent Faculty," implying that they
could inspire students to learn.
of Bloody Marsh
The "battle" is a tug-of-war between a student team and a
faculty/staff team organized by the Programming Board that takes place
in the fall on the academic quad. The name refers to the 1742 battle in
which the forces of General Oglethorpe defeated the Spanish troops in
Boar's Head is held in the Conant Center on the first Friday in December.
It begins with a procession of the members of Omicron Delta Kappa, in
academic regalia, carrying a roasted boar's head on a litter. The procession
is followed by a reading of the Boar's Head story. The rest of the celebration
consists of a concert featuring the University Singers and other performing
arts groups, the lighting of the holiday tree and a reception sponsored
by the Oglethorpe Student Association. The armorial crest of General James
Edward Oglethorpe, which depicts four boars' heads, serves as the inspiration
for this annual tradition.
Core Curriculum (a.k.a. The Core)
A distinctive element of an Oglethorpe education since the 1940s, the
Core, in its current form, provides a four-year common learning experience
for all students. The Core encourages students to pursue links among the
various areas of study and to appreciate the value of intellectual inquiry.
of Civilization Time Capsule
Situated behind a stainless steel door in the lower level of Hearst
Hall, the Oglethorpe Crypt was identified by the Guinness Book of World
Records as "the first successful attempt to bury a record of this
culture for any future inhabitants...."
Sealed in 1940 by Dr. Thornwell Jacobs, the Crypt is not to be opened
until 8113 AD. It contains an encyclopedic inventory intended to be a
"museum" of representative culture from the times of the Egyptians
through the mid-twentieth century. The first item to be seen upon the
opening of the Crypt is the "language integrator," designed
to teach twentieth century English to the generations of 8113.
Located in the lobby of the Emerson Student Center, the time capsule
was sealed on Oglethorpe Day 2001 to help heighten awareness of the Crypt
of Civilization. It is scheduled to be opened on Oglethorpe Day 2010.
In November 1941, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey
Circus was performing in Atlanta. Eighteen circus elephants were poisoned
by what was later determined to be arsenic. When nine of the beasts died,
an enterprising professor in the Oglethorpe medical school had one of
the elephants hauled
to campus and deposited behind Lowry Hall (now Weltner Library) for use
in his comparative anatomy class. As the animal began to decay, a hole
was dug next to the body, where the elephant was then rolled into and
This class, required for all first-year students, runs through
the first semester and carries one credit hour. It involves the new student
in a small group activity with a faculty member and selected upperclass
mentors. Fresh Focus class meetings begin during new student orientation.
Sponsored by Omicron Delta Kappa, this mid-winter series of programs
features imaginative and entertaining daily games and contests, which
challenge students in academic skills and mental agility. Previous events
have included foreign language spelling bees, a Popsicle stick bridge building contest
and a College Bowl Tournament. Prizes are awarded to individual and group
Georgia Shakespeare has been a fixture on the Oglethorpe
University campus since the 1980s when it was first housed in a tent on
the infield of the university track and then at other locations. Since
the summer of 1997, Georgia Shakespeare has shared occupancy of
Oglethorpe University's Conant Performing Arts Center, performing Shakespeare and other plays
six months out of the year.
Dr. Jacobs was the driving force behind the reopening of Oglethorpe University
on its present site in 1916. He was responsible for the Gothic revival
architecture of the original buildings and served as University President
for nearly three decades. The Crypt of Civilization was his idea and project.
The sayings inscribed over the portals of Lupton and Hearst Halls are
all from Dr. Jacobs.
The most distinguished alumnus of Old Oglethorpe was Sidney Lanier,
class of 1860, destined to achieve fame as a poet, critic, and musician.
Born in Macon, Georgia, he entered Oglethorpe at age fifteen. His favorite
college activity was the Thalians, then a literary and debating society.
After graduation Lanier served in the Confederate army. His most famous
poems were concerned with nature, including "Song of the Chattahoochee."
Shortly before his death at age thirty-nine, Lanier remarked that his
greatest intellectual influence was his college days at Oglethorpe University.
Hall Bell Tower
Built as a freestanding structure in 1920, the granite tower is trimmed
in limestone. The tower is a monument to Margaret Lupton. Her son and
Oglethorpe benefactor John T. Lupton of Chattanooga, Tennessee at one
time owned the exclusive franchise to the Coca-Cola Bottling Company.
The tower still has its original clock and bell chimes. The carillon atop
the building was added in the early 1970s. In the 1920s two more sections
with entrances were added to the tower to complete Lupton Hall as a unified
Cedere (pronounced "nes-keet keh-deh-reh")
The University uses as its coat-of-arms the crest of the Oglethorpe
family. Their symbol was the ferocious wild boar. The coat-of arms features
boars' heads on a silver field. Underneath in the Latin script is
the Oglethorpe family motto adopted by the University, "Nescit Cedere,"
which is freely rendered as "He does not know how to give up."
This phrase is used as the last line in the Oglethorpe alma mater.
of the Arts
At the Oglethorpe Night of the Arts in October the University's creative
students, faculty and staff take the stage to perform. The evening, which
is sponsored by the literary magazine, features readings of poetry and
fiction, dance, musical performances and art displays.
General James Edward (1696-1785)
General Oglethorpe, the University's namesake, founded the Georgia
colony at Savannah in 1733. The University's collegiate gothic architecture
was inspired by Corpus Christi College of Oxford University, Oglethorpe's
Oglethorpe Day, the second Wednesday in February is a festive occasion,
which honors the founders of the University and serves to remind members
of the community of the institution's rich history and unique traditions.
A convocation kicks off the day's festivities, which typically include
such elements as music, drama and food.
Originally founded in 1835 by Georgia Presbyterians, Old Oglethorpe
was one of the oldest denominational institutions south of the Virginia
line. It was located near the antebellum Georgia capital of Milledgeville.
The curriculum consisted primarily of classical languages and literature,
theology, and natural sciences. Oglethorpe's President during much
of this time was Samuel Talmage. Other distinguished faculty were Joseph
LeConte, destined to achieve world fame as a geologist and James Woodrow,
the first professor in Georgia to hold the Ph.D. Old Oglethorpe, which
is said to have "died at Gettysburg," perished during the
Based on the Cambridge University tradition portrayed in the movie "Chariots
of Fire," the Petrels of Fire is a footrace that takes place on Oglethorpe
Day each year. In the race, Oglethorpe runners strive to circumnavigate
the academic quadrangle beginning at the first stroke of 12 on the bell
tower carillon and finish before the final stroke.
This outdoor concert, produced by the Programming Board in April
on the academic quad, features a name band, booths, games of various kinds
and a picnic. Some bands that have performed at Stomp the Lawn are Drivin'
N' Cryin,' Jump Little Children, Edwin McCain and Michelle
Petrel (idiosyncratically pronounced "pea-trel")
Oglethorpe University's mascot is the Stormy Petrel.
The storm petrel is a small sea bird that flies in the face of storms.
According to legend, James Oglethorpe, on his first transatlantic voyage
to Georgia in 1733, was inspired by the persistence of the storm petrel.
The petrel is sometimes thought by students to be extinct despite the
fact that it is one of the most numerous bird species on earth. The nickname
is unique in all of American intercollegiate sports. Duane Hanson, renowned
former Oglethorpe art faculty member, designed the stylized version of
the petrel seen on Dorough Field House. The Stormy Petrel is also
the name of Oglethorpe's student newspaper.
Originally formed in 1839 at Old Oglethorpe in Milledgeville, this organization
is the University's oldest student organization. The Thalians meet
regularly to discuss issues of social, political, or philosophical interest
to the members.
The Tower is Oglethorpe's literary magazine. It is named for the rooms
on the top floor of the library, now occupied by the museum director,
where its staff meetings were first held. The magazine includes poems,
short essays and stories, photographs, and artwork by students, faculty
and members of the Oglethorpe community at large.
This term refers to the residence hall area that includes Alumni,
Dempsey, Jacobs, Schmidt and Trustee Halls. They are laid out in a three-sided
rectangle with an open end.
The purpose of this October party, sponsored by the Oglethorpe Student
Association, is to unite students, build community and prove to everyone
that students can have a good time without consuming alcohol. This party
is held in the Traer residence hall courtyard.
Because the University serves as a "living memorial" to the
founder of Georgia, it features many references to the life and legend
of General James Oglethorpe. The school yearbook is named the Yamacraw
after the Native American tribe who befriended him in Georgia.