Testudo got his start back in 1932, when then football coach Dr. H. Curley Byrd recommended that the diamondback terrapin be made the school mascot. It is also the Maryland state reptile. Rubbing his nose is supposed to bring good luck. That is why Testudo's nose is unusually shiny. Not to pass up a chance for some good luck, I rubbed Testudo's nose while I was there. I did have very good luck in finding the College Park Aviation Museum the next day. However, some young people thought I was Testudo and tried to paint and kidnap me several times. They looked like Johns Hopkins students to me.
Actually there are several Testudos. In 1992 a twin statue of Testudo was placed at Byrd Stadium that the football team and marching band touches for good luck as they pass by on their way to and from the field. There is now also a statue of Testudo outside the Gossett Team House on the outskirts of Byrd Stadium. In 2002, another statue was placed in front of Comcast Center, the school's new basketball arena; and in 2005, a fifth statue (this one hollow) was erected in front of the new Riggs Alumni Center. This last one is the Testudo in my pictures.
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Watch out for cross walks!
When driving on the University campus, it is important to note that the yellow stripey crossings for the students are kind of like zebra crossings in the UK...you have to stop for the pedestrian, not the other way around, otherwise with all the traffic around here none of the students would make it to class on time if they had to stop for the cars!
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