LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — It’s a well-known superstition at the University of Maryland, College Park: rub the nose of the bronze mascot in front of the library during finals week, or risk a bad grade.
If you’re anticipating a particularly difficult test, leave an “offering.”
The terrapin statue, better known as “Testudo,” overlooks the jewel of the campus, McKeldin Mall. There are several other “Testudos” around the grounds, but the one on the mall is the original.
According to the school’s website, the Class of 1933 bought the statue as its graduation gift to the university. It was stolen by students from rival colleges — namely, Johns Hopkins and the University of Virginia — a few times before officials decided to have it filled with 700 pounds of cement in the 1950s.
When McKeldin Library was built in the 1960s, Testudo was moved to the spot where he has rested ever since. Since McKeldin Mall houses many of the school’s academic buildings, he’s in a prime location for students to get some last-minute luck by rubbing his nose or leaving a gift — like some loose change, candy or a scarf in cold weather.
According to some photos that have surfaced on Twitter this week, students are very worried about their finals this semester:
(@veens24) May 15, 2014
Sacrifices to Testudo have begun. May the turtle have mercy on our souls. Fear the Turtle. http://t.co/alBrup66Yp—
Rob (@Lets_ROB_a_bank) May 15, 2014
Bless us testudo http://t.co/0tG8BUIJAm—
Devin Rote (@iROTEthebook) May 15, 2014
This semester's Testudo offerings include a toilet and a water fountain. http://t.co/d9dGJsMIrS—
Laura Blasey (@lblasey) May 14, 2014