ABC’s of UMD: Letter Y

Y is for YEARBOOK! The Maryland Agricultural College cadets began publishing a yearbook, titled Reveille, in 1897, 39 years after the college’s opening. The cover featured the senior class colors of blue and white (at that time, each class had its own colors, instead of the red/white/black/gold we know today), and the first-year editors included detailed information about the college career of each of the 20 seniors, as well as class yells, histories, and prophecies, coverage of activities of the alumni association and various student organizations,detailed accounts of the football and baseball teams’ seasons, and comments on hazing, among other features..

With the adoption of Testudo as the university’s mascot in 1933 came a name change for the yearbook, to the Terrapin, two years later. The name of the yearbook has remained the same to this day, with the exception of a brief interlude in 1971 and 1972 when it was called Us. Representative of the student rebellion of the times, Us is far from what would be considered a traditional yearbook. It was much more like a photo essay, with little narrative or captioning and reduced coverage of typical university events. The Terrapin returned in 1973, in a more traditional form.

Students have continued to produce yearbooks to the present day, and you can find digital copies of all of these volumes, beginning with that first Reveille,  at You can also review the hard copy of these annuals in the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library. Yearbook designers have created some very colorful and clever covers over the years, and here are some of our favorites:

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It’s easy to get lost in these pages imagining what life was like at the university 10, 25, 50, or even 100 years ago! Enjoy!

This is the 25th and next-to-last post in our series on Terrapin Tales called ABC’s of UMD! Posts have come out twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays, throughout the semester; search “ABC’s of UMD” to see the rest. If you want to learn more about campus history, you can also visit our encyclopedia University of Maryland A to Z: MAC to Millennium for more UMD facts.

Do you have other ABC’s about campus? Let us know in the comments below!

Check back on Monday, November 30, for Letter Z, the final entry in our series!


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