For information about Web accessibility, please contact the Webmaster at

Haverford College
Departments of Physics and Astronomy
header imageheader imageheader imageheader imageheader imageheader imageheader imageheader image

The History of April 1 at Haverford Physics

as told by Lynne Raschke (class of '98)

The April 1st tradition was started by a group of us...notably including Andy Ewald and several other members of the classes of 96, 97 and 98. (I'm pretty sure that in addition to Andy and me, Matthew Smith, Jed Stamas, Michelle Morreale and Jesper Andersen were definitely involved that first year.) It started in 1996. Andy decided to put a bed in Walter's office for April Fool's to tease him for often taking naps in his office during the day (I think this was when Grace was young). So Andy and I carried a bed from his dorm over to Walter's office and we made it up complete with sheets, blankets, a pillow and stuffed animals. Also, if I remember right, we blocked in Gabe Spalding's office door with a mountain of Mountain Dew (since he seemed to drink it nonstop); we left Jerry a fluid *statics* problem...about 50 dixie cups of water in front of his door that he had to jump over to get in his office; I know they put something in your office but I can't remember what...but it was big and heavy; finally, they put an old refrigerator in Lyle's office with a stuffed dummy in it and a note that said something to the effect of: Another person dies as a result of misunderstood thermodynamics. (Because apparently in the thermo class he taught that year he told a story about people opening their refrigerators to cool off during a heat wave..and it killing them.)

During 97, I can't remember exactly what we did but it did involve breaking into the display case and replacing the faculty photos with " creative" counterparts. Finally, I definitely remember 98 because I came up with that idea...we created the Stokes Shopping Mall. We made everyone's office a different store. The only ones that I can remember now are: your office became the pet store, complete with a live frog and mice, and Adam Lansberg's office was a clothing store...because we thought he was always so impecably we stocked his clothing store with clothes from Madison Compton's closet...including a lime-green polyester leisure suit, I think. ;-) Finally, we made the physics major computer lab (the little one next to the freshmen physics lab) into the local bar/nightclub. We had colored lights and a disco ball in there.