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Campus & Community

Happy Birthday, Testudo

A New Addition to the Family of Terrapin Statues Arrives

By Maryland Today Staff

Testudo Statue outside of Van Munching Hall

Testudo bronze statue in front of Van Munching Hall.

Testudo bronze statue in front of Van Munching Hall.

The first Testudo statue was unveiled on campus 85 years ago tomorrow—and there’s no better way to celebrate a “happy birthday” than a new addition to the family.

A seventh bronze likeness of the Maryland mascot was installed in late April in the courtyard of Van Munching Hall. The 300-pound statue was a gift from an anonymous donor, who provided additional funds for the statue’s permanent upkeep.

This Testudo, the first on the south side of campus, joins six others located at McKeldin Library, the Stamp Student Union, Xfinity Center, Maryland Stadium, the Gossett Football Team House and the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center.

The original—and most popular—one, at McKeldin, was modeled on a live terrapin and initially installed at Ritchie Coliseum as a gift from the Class of 1933.

The baby of the family of Testudo statues didn’t have to wait long to be noticed: Students waited in line as it was secured to its marble base to be the first to rub his nose for good luck.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article misstated that the first Testudo statue was installed 75 years ago.

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