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11/23/2022 8:20 am  #1

What are the most epic university pranks in history?

No one seems to have mentioned the Great Cornell Pumpkin Caper of 1997 (my title), so I will do my duty and represent my alma mater.

It was October 1997, and the student body woke up to find a round, orange gourd impaled atop the 173 ft high spire of McGraw Tower, seemingly in preparation for Halloween.

How did it get there? No one was talking. Some said it was a plucky engineering student with a penchant for rock climbing; others joked that the school’s president, Hunter Rawlings III (a notoriously tall man), placed it there by standing on his tippy toes. But the truth remained a mystery.

The pumpkin’s notoriety was magnified by just how long it remained up there. Everyone expected the thing to decompose as it was exposed to the elements, yet it lasted for days, weeks, and even months, prompting many to doubt if it was actually a real pumpkin.

Scientific tests ultimately proved that it was, in fact, a real pumpkin, and so its longevity added to its legend. All told, the pumpkin sat up there for 158 days, until finally taken down in March of ‘98.

To this day, no one knows for sure who put it up there or how they managed to do it, but the Cornell pumpkin is remembered with warm reverence in the hearts of the those who walked to class beneath its watchful orange eye.


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