July 14, 2024

UMW’s Devil-Goat Day Back on Ball Circle in 2024

Giant inflatables, like this two-lane bungee race, were part of the fun at this year’s Devil-Goat Day at the University of Mary Washington. The annual late-April competition pits Devils, who graduate in odd years, against Goats, who graduate in even years, on a quest to collect the most points for participation and wins. Photo by Parker Michels-Boyce.

Giant inflatables, like this two-lane bungee race, were part of the fun at this year’s Devil-Goat Day at the University of Mary Washington. The annual late-April competition pits Devils, who graduate in odd years, against Goats, who graduate in even years, on a quest to collect the most points for participation and wins. Photo by Parker Michels-Boyce.

With Reunion Weekend ahead at the University of Mary Washington, and hundreds of alumni set to return to their alma mater, nostalgia is in the air. And nothing says nostalgia at UMW like Devil-Goat Day, a unique tradition that’s unfolded on the Fredericksburg campus for nearly a century.

Way back in 1926, Mary Washington’s junior class, led by Professor of Education Eileen Kramer Dodd, claimed the goat as its symbol, according to University of Mary Washington, A Centennial History by Professor Emeritus William B. Crawley. Not to be outdone, the seniors chose their own symbol – a devil – and the good-natured rivalry began.

Much like UMW’s student body, the tradition has evolved through the years, eventually becoming an afternoon of field day-type events with wheelbarrow races and limbo contests. Additions in the 1990s included a pie-eating competition, a Velcro wall climb and tug-of-war battles. Now filled with inflatables and carnival-style games, the uniquely UMW tradition returned to Ball Circle this year, bringing the center of campus to life and delivering a well-deserved respite for students preparing for final exams. Read more.