Starting in the late 19th century, F&M students found a new way to acknowledge and celebrate the ending of classes. In late spring, the sophomore class, dressed in “devilish” costumes, would gather to hold a mock trial, make speeches, read poetry and then set afire elaborate paper and papier-mâché creations. Mathematics and science courses dominated the tradition, with the making of giant starfish, lobsters and grasshoppers. In 1907, sophomores gathered at 421 Nevin St. in preparation for a tribute to zoology. On May 10, this giant papier-mâché clam (pictured above) was sentenced by Judge Pluto of the Supreme Court of Hades, paraded past Dr. Schiedt’s house and burned at Williamson Field.
— Christopher Raab, Archives & Special Collections Librarian