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In Every Issue ::

Lite of the mind
(a light-hearted look at all things Chicago)

The final degree
You’re not really a Chicago grad until you’ve earned your ChD…

Sure, you’ve made it through SOSC 2, Kevin Murphy’s Advanced Micro class, or Human Morphology I and II. But when it’s time to trade Chicago arcana with your fellow alumni, how do you measure up? A Doctorate of Chicagoana is awarded only via the comprehensive examination below (go to How to Calculate Your ChD for answers and a scoring guide).


Hogwarts West.


Name that tartan.


A tree by any other name would smell the same.

Four quarters, four seasons

1. You’re walking on 58th Street, just east of the Oriental Institute, on an autumn day, when you smell something reminiscent of rancid butter or vomit. What is it?

2. Ice sculpting, hot chocolate, and a predawn salute to the sun are all part of the University’s annual winter festival. What is the festival’s name? (Extra credit for correct spelling.)

3. Virginio Ferrari’s sculpture Dialogo, in front of Pick Hall, is famous for doing what on what day?

4. It’s midsummer, a late Sunday afternoon on the Midway, and suddenly you hear ringing in your ears. What is it?

Big men on campus

5. Amos Alonzo Stagg, Chicago’s football coach when the Maroons played in the Big Ten Conference, invented, among other things, the lateral pass. He was also the first collegiate football coach to receive what?

6. Just 29 when he was named the University’s president in 1929, this young man in a hurry became one of the most prominent and controversial figures in American higher education, shaping 20th-century debates over the content and function of education. Who was he?

Oh, the places you’ll go

7. What does the Law School’s Laird Bell Quadrangle have in common with St. Louis’s Gateway Arch?

8. What Chicago eating space is modeled after the same Oxford refectory used in the Harry Potter films as the Hogwarts dining hall?

School pride

9. Maroon became the official color of the University of Chicago at a mass meeting of students and faculty on May 5, 1894. What color did it replace?

10. It wouldn’t be convocation without the University’s pipe band. We won’t ask what’s under those kilts, but we will ask: what is the name of the pipers’ tartan?