College News and Fun Facts: California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
The Caltech mascot is the beaver—an homage to nature’s engineer.
Caltech’s founding fathers—astronomer George Ellery Hale, physicist Robert Andrews Millikan, and chemist Arthur Amos Noyes—were nicknamed “Tinker, Thinker, and Stinker.”
Beginning in 2007, the campus hosted fall olive harvest festivals to collect as much as 2,600 pounds of olives from the trees along the famed Olive Walk. The olives yielded anywhere from 50 to 150 gallons of oil depending on the year.
The annual Pumpkin Drop takes place at midnight on Halloween, when students drop pumpkins frozen in liquid nitrogen from the top of Millikan Library to see if they’ll give off a brief glow as they hit the ground and shatter.
Millikan Library is one of the most-often-shaken buildings in the world, as Caltech’s seismologists use it to test earthquake detectors and to gather other types of seismological data.
Residents of Blacker House are known as “moles”—named for the unit of measurement, not the underground creatures.
Robert Andrews Millikan was Caltech’s first Nobel Prize winner, becoming a laureate in 1923.
Every morning during finals week, at 7 a.m. on the dot, Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” is played at an ear-splitting volume.
Rumor has it that the largest In-N-Out burger ever prepared was made for Caltech students.
To celebrate the end of Daylight Savings Time each year, Techers try to pull a negative-time Tommy’s run: The goal is to drive downtown, eat a burger at the original Tommy’s, and arrive back on campus before they left.
The Emmy-nominated television series, The Big Bang Theory, which is set at Caltech, taped an episode on campus that featured a cameo appearance by world-renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. Source.
- Color: Orange and White
- Mascot: Beaver
- Admit Rate: 6.6% (Class of 2022). Read more
- November 2, 2020
1,000 NIGHTS. The 1,000 Nights formal is for first-year students only, signifying the roughly 1,000 more days until graduation. It was inspired by the 100 Nights formal held each spring for seniors that marks the number of days until Commencement. … More
- October 30, 2020
In 2015, Richmond tied for first in the bachelor’s institutions category of universities producing the most Fulbright U.S. Scholars. Source Investiture. This event marks the formal introduction of first-year students into the College. Students are introduced to the history of … More
- October 29, 2020
Lehigh and Lafayette has had a rivalry as far back as 1884. Seal and Motto. “Homo Minister et Interpres Naturae,” which translates loosely to “Man, the servant and interpreter of nature,” taken from the works of Francis Bacon, was used … More
- October 26, 2020
Notable Alumni: Co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, attended UMD and graduated with a BS in Computer Science in 1993. Source Three-time Olympic gymnast, Dominique Dawes, attended UMD and graduated in 2002 after winning the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics … More