10 Fun Facts About UPenn

July 08, 2018

1. It is a tradition to throw toast on the field during all home football games. The cue to unleash the bread comes on the line, “Here’s a toast to dear old Penn” in a school fight song. Supposedly the toast tradition dates back to prohibition; when the school banned alcohol - the students fought back by taking the toast cue a bit more literally.In a good season, says Franklin Field supervisor Tony Overend, 20,000 to 30,000 pieces of toast will be thrown per game. A “toast zamboni” picks up the debris at the end of the day.

2. It is a freshman myth to never cross the compass that is embedded into the center of Locust Walk or else you will fail your first set of midterms. Rumor has it, a fraternity came up with the myth as a conversation starter with freshmen girls.

3. Enjoy your computer? Well you can thank UPenn! The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

4. The Penn Relays hosted every year is the largest and oldest track and field event in the United States - it started in 1895. It attracts hundreds of participants annually.

5. From 1756 to 1898, UPenn’s motto read Sine Moribus Vanae… until someone pointed out that the motto could be translated as “Loose women without morals,” The current motto is Leges sine moribus vanae, or “Laws without morals are in vain.” 

6. Jon Huntsman Jr., whose family infamously built the Wharton School’s Huntsman Hall, served as the Governor of Utah.


7. From 1930 to 1966, there were a series of Rowbottom riots—a tradition in which students conducted mischief including window smashing and raiding panties from women’s dorms.

8. Donald Trump, Tory Burch, Noam Chomsky, John Legend, and the current president of Harvard are all Penn alumni.

9. In 2009, President Amy Gutmann’s salary was $1.3 million - yeesh! 

10. UPenn sponsored biological warfare research in the 1960s, which caused student petitioning.



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