Heels, RATS and Osceola: ACC at a Glance

Heels, RATS and Osceola: ACC at a Glance

As Boston College prepares to transfer to the Atlantic Coast Conference, Chronicle presents a look at the ACC's other member schools.

Clemson University

Location: Clemson, SC
Founded: 1889

Enrollment: 13,826 undergraduate, 3,289 graduate
Full-time faculty: 1,088
Mascot: Tiger
Average SAT score: 587 Verbal, 618 Math, 1,205 Total
Most popular majors: Engineering, marketing, management

Named for the son-in-law of famous statesman John C. Calhoun, Thomas Green Clemson, who deeded his plantation to the state of South Carolina for the establishment of a college of agriculture and mechanical arts, Clemson was an all-male military school until 1955, when it went civilian and co-ed. One of the most celebrated entrances in sport comes when the orange-clad Clemson football team runs down a 100-foot hill to the field.

Duke University

Location: Durham, NC
Founded: 1838

Enrollment: 6,206 undergraduate, 5,723 graduate/professional
Tenure or tenure-track faculty: 1,498
Mascot: Blue Devil
SAT: Verbal scores over 600, 91 percent, over 700, 51 percent; Math scores over 600, 94 percent, over 700, 66 percent
Most popular majors: Economics, public policy, psychology

Duke University was created in 1924 by American Tobacco Company magnate James Buchanan Duke as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. An oft-repeated (but untrue) legend is that James B. Duke offered his significant gift to Princeton University if its trustees would change the name to Duke, but was refused, so gave his money to Trinity College in Durham, NC, which would. Duke father and son are entombed in the towering Memorial Chapel that dominates the Gothic campus. The Blue Devil mascot was inspired by the Chasseurs Alpins, or "les Diables Bleus," celebrated blue-clad French Alpine troops of the First World War.

Florida State University

Location: Tallahassee, Fla.
Founded: 1851

Enrollment: 29,297 undergraduate, 6,851 graduate, 1,180 unclassified
Faculty: 1,897
Mascot: Seminole
SAT scores: Verbal range (25-75 percent) 520-620, Math range (25-75 percent) 520-620
Most popular majors: Biology, criminal justice, psychology

Florida State polled its students in 1947 to select the college nickname. Seminoles prevailed over Crackers, Statesmen, Fighting Warriors and Tarpons. At home football games, a figure dressed as famed Seminole Chief Osceola gallops the field on an Appaloosa and plants a fiery spear in the turf. The real Osceola led the Seminole resistance to the Indian removal ordered in the 1830s by President Andrew Jackson. A campus statue of Osceola on a rearing horse titled "Unconquered" is modeled on the statue of Jackson in New Orleans. At sunset the night before each home football game, the spear is ignited and burns until sunrise on the morning after the game.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Location: Atlanta, Ga.
Founded: 1885
Enrollment: 12,000 undergraduate, 4,400 graduate
Full-time faculty: 848
Mascot: Yellowjacket
Average SAT score: 1338

Most popular majors: Computer science, mechanical engineering, management

Georgia Tech freshmen are known as RATS ("Recently Acquired Tech Students") and wear traditional beanies during their first semester on campus. RATS are required to write the scores of all Georgia Tech football games on their headgear during their first fall semester in school.

University of Maryland

Location: College Park, Md.
Founded: 1856
Enrollment: 25,240 undergraduate, 9,561 graduate
Full-time faculty: 2,845

Mascot: Terrapin
Median SAT Range: 1200-1360
Most popular majors: Computer science, criminology, communication

Maryland recently erected a campus statue of the late Jim Henson, a 1960 graduate and creator of the "Sesame Street" children's television series. Henson is depicted in conversation with Kermit the Frog.

University of North Carolina

Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Founded: 1789
Enrollment: 15,961 undergraduate students, 10,140 graduate/professional
Full-time faculty: 2,701
Mascot: Tar Heel
Middle 50% SAT score: 1150-1340
Most popular majors: Biology, psychology, business administration

The school shares its nickname with the state of North Carolina. According to the university's Web site, "Tar Heels" is thought by some to have originated during a Civil War battle in Virginia, when a column of North Carolinians continued to fight despite being left alone by other Confederate troops. The victorious soldiers were later asked by some Virginians, "Any more tar down in the Old North State, boys?" "No, not a bit; old Jeff's bought it all up," was the North Carolinians' supposed response, referring to Confederate President Jefferson Davis. "He is going to put it on you'ns heels to make you stick better in the next fight."

North Carolina State University

Location: Raleigh, NC
Founded: 1887

Enrollment: 22,780 undergraduate, 7,220 graduate and professional Full-time faculty: 1685
Mascot: Wolfpack
Middle 50% SAT score: 1050-1260
Most popular majors: Engineering, business, biology

The sting and itch of bug bites from mosquitoes and other pests could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to research by Michael Roe in NC State's Department of Entomology. Roe has isolated a compound produced by tomatoes that repels mosquitoes and other insects more effectively, and is safer than DEET, a chemical used in insect repellents. "It's found in tomatoes, it's natural, it can be obtained organically, it's safe and it's at least as effective as DEET, all features that the public would want for a new-generation insect repellent," says Roe.

University of Virginia

Location: Charlottesville, Va.
Founded: 1819

Enrollment: 12,748 undergraduate, 6,067 graduate/professional
Full-time faculty: 2005
Mascot: Cavalier
Middle 50% SAT score: 1220-1420
Most popular majors: Economics, commerce, psychology

Unlike many other southern schools, Virginia stayed open through the Civil War. In March 1865, after Union General George A. Custer marched troops into Charlottesville, faculty and community leaders met Custer at the corner of the campus and convinced him to spare the school. Union troops camped on the Lawn but, without any bloodshed, marched on four days later.

Wake Forest University

Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Founded: 1834
Enrollment: 3,748 undergraduate, 2,365 graduate/professional
Full-time faculty: 440
Mascot: Demon Deacon
Middle 50% SAT score: 1250-1370
Most popular majors: Communication, business, political science

Wake Forest traces its beginnings back to 1827, when Samuel Wait arrived from upstate New York to become pastor of the First Baptist Church in New Bern, NC. Convinced of the need for an educated clergy in what he saw as a secular, pagan region, Wait and his wife Sarah packed their worldly possessions in a two-horse Jersey wagon and crisscrossed the state to raise money to fulfill their vision of educating a new generation of ministers. Samuel preached hundreds of sermons while Sarah made and sold hats to support the family, and two years later they had raised enough money to buy a 615-acre plantation in Wake County. Wait founded the North Carolina Baptist State Convention, which in 1834 opened the Wake Forest Manual Labor Institute with Wait as its first principal. The school was rechartered as Wake Forest College in 1838.

* * *
Joining the ACC for the 2004-05 season will be two other former Big East schools, Miami and Virginia Tech:

University of Miami

Location: Coral Gables, Fla.
Founded: 1925
Enrollment: 9,418 undergraduate, 5,184 graduate and professional
Full-time faculty: 2,100
Mascot: Ibis (the bird of knowledge)
Median SAT Range: 1160-1340
Most popular majors: Pre-medicine, marine science, communication

One of the long-standing traditions at UM is the "Boat Burning Ceremony." Students, holding candles, proceed to the shores of Lake Osceola and the school band leads the singing of the alma mater. Then the burning of a boat takes place. According to tradition, if the mast falls before the boat sinks, Miami will win the Homecoming football game.

Virginia Tech

Location: Blacksburg, Va.
Founded: 1872
Enrollment: 21,413 undergraduate, 4,406 graduate/professional
Full-time faculty: 1,301
Mascot: Hokie Bird
Middle 50% SAT score: 1100-1270
Most popular majors: University Studies, general engineering, business

Virginia Tech is steeped in military cadet traditions and recognized as a pioneer in campus technology - but invariably has to answer the "What's a Hokie?" question. Contrary to popular belief, a "Hokie" is not a castrated turkey. The word was coined by an 1896 Tech alumnus who used it in a spirit yell he wrote for a competition (for which he won $5). A Virginia Tech English professor says "Hokie" has long been used to "express feeling, approval, excitement, surprise," in the same vein as "Hooray" or "Rah."


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