Why Terp Notes?

You may wonder why I called my blog Terp Notes or who/what is this Terp. For the University of Maryland at College Park community this would not be a question, because Terps is how Maryland Terrapins – university athletic teams, are referred to usually. Terps is also how all the community members from students to professors often call themselves.

Testudo memorial in front of McKeldin Library
Testudo memorial in front of McKeldin Library

Terrapin or more formally Diamondback Terrapin is a turtle native to Maryland. It is the state reptile and the official mascot of the university.

The mascot Testudo the Turtle actually was born in 1932 and it is an important part of the university traditions. You can see many turtle statues all around the campus. Fear the Turtle! has been the university slogan since 1998. Unstoppable Starts Here is another slogan introduced in 2009 to complement the previous one.

The original Testudo statue is now overlooking the campus from the McKeldin Library entrance. Rubbing his nose or giving him a treat is supposed to bring good luck in exams, so do not mind stains on his pedestal and his unusually shiny nose. The plate on the rear side of the pedestal reads as follows:

The Terrapin Memorial – Gift of the Class of 1933 – Official Mascot of the University of Maryland at College Park

Presented on Class Day, May 1933 – Base presented by the 1933 Student Government Association and the 1933 Reveille Student Yearbook – Aristide B. Cianfarani, sculptor – Gorham Manufacturing Company, casting – Howard W. Cutler, AIA, base design

Rededicated October 16, 1993 in celebration of the 60th reunion of the class 1933 – Restoration of the statue and base in 1993 was funded by gifts from the class of 1933, the Maryland Association of Midshipmen and the Terrapin Tag Team


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