Check out our special blog documenting the week of the Great Fire of 1912! Read about student life, find photos of campus, and keep up with the news. Make sure to take a look on Thursday, November 29th for live coverage of the fire!

The Great Fire

At the Maryland Agricultural College in the early 1900s, several years before any female students enrolled in the school, campus life consisted of school work, inspections, military drills, and morning chapel.  Upperclassmen subjected freshman, sub-freshman and preparatory students, whom they called “rats”, to a litany of hazing and drudge work.  Sophomores in the Class of 1913 boasted about their implementation of a “fixed set of rules for the government of rats.”

A cartoon in the 1911 yearbook depicts the Preps as a gangly band of kids under the direction of the Sophomore class, portrayed here as a mother-like figure.

The following excerpts appeared in the 1911 Reveille yearbook under the title, “Daily Diary of a Prep Rat.”  While the entries are most likely exaggerated and meant to poke fun at the plight of the “rats,” they also provide a glimpse into the lives of underclassmen on campus around the time…

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