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Pranks

College campuses have rich traditions that also include pranks and other humorous events. In her "Echoes of the Past" article in the November-December 1934 issue of the Wheaton Alumni News Julia Blanchard recounted the story of one of the earliest pranks played at Wheaton College.  It was the favorite story of Albert L. Miller, an early student of the College. Miller's daughters recounted the story to Blanchard of how in the spring of 1863 some "fellows painted grandfather's [Jonathan Blanchard's] white horse in their class colors and then parked him up in the Tower" (p. 1).

Another early prank at Wheaton College that involved Jonathan Blanchard and retold by Clyde Kilby in his biography A Minority of One occurred one April Fool's Day when students placed a goose on the lectern prior to Blanchard's arrival. Upon entering Blanchard assessed the current situation and left the classroom after exclaiming, "well, students, I see you have chosen a new leader. Since he must be more to your liking, I will take the only course open to me. I will withdraw."

Frances Townsley, in her Pilgrim Maid, tells of digging snow and packing ice upon "the sidewalk and steps of a Professor who disliked manual labor, and the task lasting 'till long after midnight, laid me by with severe pain for three days, but the sidewalks were kept clean thenceforth" (p. 102-103).

In an oral history, Ed Hollatz recounted a prank involving students breaking into a public-address system in Blanchard Tower, used for the broadcasting of chimes (prior to the building of Edman Chapel), in the wee hours of the morning playing Elvis Presley's Hound Dog across the campus.

April Fool's Day often presents the opportune moment for high-jinks. In 1974 large cut-outs of President Armerding and Mickey Mouse replaced the faces on the Edman Chapel clock.

Below are referenced other notable pranks.
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David Malone,
May 11, 2011, 11:09 AM
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