The University of Chicago is a private university located in Chicago, Illinois. The school is a little more than 100 years old, and has long been prominent for education in the academic community. The teaching institution is extremely highly regarded and ranks high with the National Research Council Peer Review.
UC was founded in 1890 by John D. Rockefeller, at the tail end of a huge wave of university founding from the mid-19th century into the very beginning of the 20th century. The school was initially founded under Baptist auspices but the University was lacking in a sectarian affiliation. It’s traditions of rigorous and intense scholarship was initiated by two university presidents Harper and Hutchins. The university was unique from its inception due to its policy of allowing women and minorities to grace its hallowed halls. Because of this, the University of Chicago counts among its celebrated alumni prominent individuals from both groups.
UC has been different from most other universities from the very start. The college was initially set up around a number or graduate research institutions as was the precedent. The College itself remained extremely small compared to other similar colleges on the East coast until the middle of the 20th century. This has resulted in the university’s graduate research programs dwarfing it’s undergraduate programs with a massive 2/1 student ratio, making it’s undergraduate student body the second smallest out of the top fifteen universities. Despite this fact, most faculty members are dually appointed to both graduate and undergraduate educating positions.
UC’s sports team has been dubbed the Maroons. The team participates in the NCAA Division III and in the University Athletic Association. There was a time where UCs football teams were among the best in the country winning seven coveted Big Ten titles. The school, a leading founder of the Big Ten Conference, chose to focus less on athletics in 1939.
The school’s chosen mascot is the Phoenix. The school chose this mythical creature for two very important reasons. The mascot represents Chicago’s rebirth after the great fire and it honors a previous University of Chicago that was forced to fold for financial reasons.
Notorious University of Chicago Traditions
Annual Scavenger Hunt
A particularly notorious tradition is U of C’s annual Scavenger Hunt. The Scavenger hunt is an event that spans the course of multiple days. Multiple teams compete against each other to obtain all the items listed on an extremely long list. The event was initially created by a resident of the Snell-Hitchcock dormitory around 1987 and they continue with a long list victories ever since.
Possibly the most outrageous factor in the event are the extremely long road trips involved in competing. Listed items are known to have been hidden as far as Zion, Illinois and many university fables circulate about the infamous scavenger hunts.
Spring Sleep Out
In previous years a very popular campus tradition dubbed the Sleep Out, took place every spring. This event was centered on class registration and students wishing to obtain spots in the classes of their choice found creative ways to pass the time in line by having slumber parties and cookouts outside during Spring Registration. The tradition abruptly ended in 1997 with the advent of an internet based registration format.
The University of Chicago is a school with a long rich history and a honorable academic reputation. It is well known as the teacher of teachers with many graduate students seeking to be educated as teachers from this prestigious school. The school has certainly successfully followed its own path and achieved much success in the academic world.