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Facts about Oglethorpe

Academic Quad
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.

Battle 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 South Georgia.

Boar's Head
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.

Crypt 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.

Crypt Capsule 2010
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 buried.

Fresh Focus
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.

Geek Week
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 winners.

Georgia Shakespeare
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.

Jacobs, Thornwell
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.

Lanier, Sidney
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.

Lupton 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 academic building.

Nescit 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.

Night 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.

Oglethorpe, 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 alma mater.

Oglethorpe Day
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.

Old Oglethorpe University
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 Civil War.

Petrels of Fire
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.

Stomp the Lawn
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 Malone.

Stormy 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.

Thalian Society
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
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.

Upper Quad
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.

Virgin Bourbon Party
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.

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