Devil-Goat Rally – Be There!

It’s the Thursday before the last day of classes in the spring, and at Mary Washington that means only one thing – it’s Devil-Goat Day! The day when graduates from odd years go head-to-head in contests against their classmates from even years.  On Ball Circle today, there will be free food, entertainment, and friendly sports competitions.  It’s a single day event now, but back in the early years at Mary Washington Devil-Goat events spanned across the entire year. There were snowball fights in winter and the hiding of Devil and Goat flags in October.

Devil-Goat Rally Tonight!, Bullet, October 21, 1938

Devil-Goat Rally Tonight!, The Bullet, October 21, 1938

Interested in learning more about Mary Washington’s infamous tradition? Check out UMW photographs and publications, like the student handbooks and newspapers. University Archives has print copies in the library as well as digitized copies at Archives@UMW.

Egg Toss at Devil-Goat Day, 1983, Centennial Image Collection, Special Collections and University Archives

Egg Toss at Devil-Goat Day, 1983, Centennial Image Collection, Special Collections and University Archives

You can learn all kinds of fun facts. The March 20, 1944 Bullet article even provides details of the “real live goat” brought on campus by the Goats, and the Devil students who dressed in red flannel and carried traditional pitchforks! The Goats did triumph that year, but the Devils won the all important pie-eating contest, producing “from their midst the two girls with the biggest mouths.”

Not a photo of the real goat brought to campus in 1944, but a later attempt by a student dressed in a goat costume. Centennial Image Collection, Special Collections and University Archives

Unfortunately not a photo of the real goat brought to campus in 1944, but a later attempt by a student dressed in a goat costume. Centennial Image Collection, Special Collections and University Archives

University Archives also houses Devil-Goat Day memorabilia – T-shirts, felt green Goat insignias, and a Devil pin from 1981. These are currently on display this week in the Simpson Library lobby cases. So stop by the Library and check out your University traditions!

April 27, 2017