JUNE 2006: Home
The World Turned Upside Down Print
Written by Anna Earnest   
Article Index
The World Turned Upside Down
Page 2

*Click here to view the map in full size.

On Sept. 29, 1986, thousands of new students picked up their copies of the University of Washington’s student newspaper, The Daily, unfolded the front page and discovered a map of campus with the headline “To Our New Friends!” The map seemed to be a helpful aid for campus newcomers. But those who followed it soon found themselves hopelessly lost—and miles from their intended destinations.

The Daily UW Map“We were just sitting around the office one day, trying to think of some prank to play on the freshmen,” says Jim Caple, ’97, then a reporter for The Daily.

Caple’s idea was perfect in its simplicity and inventiveness: reprint the UW campus map with names of most buildings switched around. The University Hospital became the HUB, Odegaard Undergraduate Library became Suzzallo, student parking was relocated to the middle of Husky Stadium and Drumheller Fountain was (appropriately) renamed “Frosh Pond.”

While Caple is credited with the initial idea, Editor Bruce Taylor, ’88, and Erik P. Smith, ’86, were in charge of executing the plan. “The print shop was in the basement of the [Communications] Building,” Taylor recalls. “Anything printed on campus was there, so we had the same typesetters working on the same galley as the original map.”

They decided to make the map somewhat realistic. “We switched the buildings in the Quad because no one can keep them straight anyway,” Taylor explains. “We wanted to keep the dorms the same because the students knew those.”

Caple adds, “We made a point of making sure any building the freshmen would definitely know was kept the same.”

The morning the issue was distributed, the pouring rain merely added to the confusion of lost freshmen, international students, campus visitors and even some clueless upperclassmen.

“I wish I had made a special effort that day to get to class early…but by the time I got there, around 10:30-ish, it seemed like everyone was over it,” Taylor says.

While administrators did receive a few angry phone calls, most laughed the joke off or remained mute in their embarrassment. Many remember The Daily as having a reputation for pranks, sarcasm and less-than-strait-laced news coverage at that time.

“I’ve seen The Daily do things that were worse, that were really problematic, but this wasn’t one of them,” says UW Director of News and Information Bob Roseth. “I think the students figured it out really quick; we’ve got a pretty bright group here, and it was well within the tradition of The Daily.”

*COLUMNS VOTES: This Month's, Impact of Your UW Education