The Thursday before the last day of classes in the Spring marks the oldest of Mary Washington’s traditions, Devil-Goat Day. Inspired by faculty member and junior class sponsor, Eileen Kramer Dodd, the tradition began in 1926 with juniors wearing a felt green goat symbol on their sweatshirts to breakfast one morning. Not to be out done, the seniors countered with a red devil as their symbol and thus began the Devil-Goat rivalry.
The celebration is now held on Ball Circle for a day of tug of war and fun competitions between classes, but earlier in Mary Washington’s history it was a multi-day event. In 1930 there was a snowball fight in February between the Devils and Goats, and in 1944 the Bullet reported, students raced from their dorms at 6 AM to “raise the team flags on the front doors of the important buildings on campus. If a Goat flag is hung on the front door of a building, the Devils must use another entrance. All traitors to the cause will be reported to the team captains and the number will be taken into consideration in determining the winner of the Devil-Goat Rally.”
How do you know if you are a Devil or a Goat? The year you graduate determines your designation – “Goat” if you graduate in an even year and “Devil” if you graduate in an odd year.
So as a proud “Devil” alumna, I’ll close with this shout out for the Devils, as they tackle the Billy Goats tomorrow on Ball Circle.
We’ll fight, fight, fight
For the Devils tonight;
Look out, you Goats, we’re coming on,
And where’er we go,
We want the world to know
That the Devils are fighting along.