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Every campus has its fair share of legends. UMD is no exception. From the mysterious Pan-Flute man to raunchy hook-ups on the 7th floor of McKeldin library, the list never seems to end! Here are 9 of the more famous (or shall we say infamous) legends at UMD.

1. Hit by the UMD Bus? How about free tuition?

It seems like there is a variant of this myth on every single campus across America. The myth states that if a student gets hit by a bus, he or she will be eligible for free tuition for the rest of their college career. As the executive director of DOTS, David Allen put it, “The rumor has gone by my consciousness but I can’t imagine any university that would actually do that.” A few pedestrians have been hit by the UMD bus in the past. None have applied for free tuition. In short, the rumor is false. Do not go throwing yourself at the bus in hopes that you will get free tuition. You are more likely to die or get seriously injured. And you still won’t get free tuition after the fact.


2. If you graduate a virgin, Testudo will launch himself across the mall right into the President’s office

This myth states that if a student graduates a virgin, then the Testudo statue in front of McKeldin library will launch itself across the mall. To be clear, this has never happened. Testudo is bolted to his pedestal so he’s not going anywhere. And we’re pretty sure plenty of students have graduated who are still virgins.


3. Pan-Flute guy

This one is actually true! Every day at 12 PM noon, if you walk across McKeldin mall you will hear the echos of the Pan-Flute guy. He is said to be sitting in a tree somewhere and will run at the first sign of anyone spotting him.


4. Hookups on the 7th floor of McKeldin

Imagine wanting to study for your exams so you go up to the 7th floor for a nice and convenient place to study. It’s deserted anyway, or so you tell yourself. Except when you walk into the study room, you find some unwelcome company. Yes, hookups can and do happen in the library. It’s really frustrating when you’re in the room next door and you hear constant banging and moaning noises.


5. Bio-Psych building floor plan is built like a maze

Uhh, this one is true. The builders decided it would be fun to let the humans feel like rats in a maze. Maybe then they’ll find out what its like to be an experiment!


6. Tunnel under McKeldin library

Legend speaks of a tunnel under McKeldin mall so large you can walk around in it. Inside, there is a waterfall. Apparently it looks pretty nice for a tunnel. The entrance is supposedly an manhole cover in neighboring Marie Mount hall.


7. Preinkert Field House is haunted

Every night, ghosts frolic to the Danse Macabre on the second floor as one Reddit user put it.


8. The point of failure

A brick and concrete circle nearly 40 feet across in the pavement between Shoemaker and LeFrak halls designates the center of campus activity at the time of the Great Fire of 1912. It leveled the two largest campus buildings, as explained in historical plaques placed near the site on the fire’s 75th anniversary. With lines radiating in the direction of each of the buildings that existed at the time of the fire, the circle looks like a carelessly sliced pie. It’s probably not campus history that keeps the circle in the minds of current students, however. Legend has it students who step on the center of the circle where the lines intersect won’t graduate in four years.


9. Leaving gifts by and rubbing Testudo’s nose can give you good luck

The legend states that if you rub Testudo’s nose and leave him gifts during finals week, Testudo will reward you with a pass in every class. This claim is unsubstantiated but it still doesn’t stop people from leaving him hordes of gifts!


There you have it, 9 myths and legends on the UMD campus. Most are false, at least one is true, but all of them are hilarious. A personal favorite is the one about getting hit by a bus and free tuition. Don’t try that in real life kiddos!






Computer Science student at the University of Maryland. Bibliophile and enjoys trying new things and hanging out with friends.

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