University of Maryland Mascot: Testudo


A New University System Is Born

The flagship campus of the University of Maryland system is in College Park. Its 100th college football season is underway right now, but the college dates back even further than that. In 1856, Maryland Agricultural College was chartered. In the following years, after the land was purchased and funds raised, the college opened its doors in 1859. After several decades, the state stepped in, and the college was renamed in 1916 as Maryland State College of Agriculture. In 1920, the campuses of College Park and Baltimore were consolidated, and the University of Maryland was born.

The university’s sports teams played in the Southern Conference for many years. They then joined the ACC in 1953. They remained in the ACC until they joined the Big Ten upon its expansion a few years ago. While with the ACC, they enjoyed a rivalry with their former local conference mates, but are now looking to form new rivalries within the Big Ten.

Much More Than a Turtle

LETS GOOOOOOOO MARYLAND #terps #beatthebuckeyes

A photo posted by Testudo (@testudo_umd) on

Maryland’s official mascot is Testudo the Terrapin, and he got his start in 1932. The official reptile of Maryland just so happens to be the diamondback terrapin, which is one of the reasons why football coach Dr. H. Curley Byrd suggested it become the school’s official mascot in 1932. Terrapins are native to the Chesapeake Bay, and Byrd’s hometown of Crisfield, Maryland, is well-known for its terrapins. Additionally, the independent school newspaper had been dubbed The Diamondback years earlier, so it was a good fit.

A bronze statue of the regal turtle was commissioned – and with great fanfare, the 300-pound terrapin was unveiled in 1933. The statue was, unfortunately, subject to frequent vandalism, and in 1947, it was kidnapped by students from Johns Hopkins University. A couple of years later, it was kidnapped again. Finally, a plan was devised. The statue was filled with 700 pounds of cement, which eliminated the possibility of future kidnapping, much to the delight of the student body (who rub his nose for good luck) as well as the school’s alumni.

Fear the Turtle

If you’re getting ready to head out to catch the Terps in action, or want to chill at home in some sweet Terrapins gear, has you covered.

shirtMaryland Terrapins Midnight Mascot Long Sleeve T-Shirt




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