The Naval Academy's "Herndon Climb" Is The Coolest College Tradition



plebe 2

Next stop, Poon City!

USNAAt the sound of a cannon blast, 1,000 eager, screaming plebes charge toward a 21-foot grey monument that taunted them all year. They attempt to climb the lard-covered obelisk as thousands of spectators watch with the hopes that they complete the task quickly. This event at the U.S. Naval Academy is known simply as “Herndon” or the “Plebe Recognition Ceremony.” The plebe class works together to accomplish the goal of retrieving a white plebe “dixie cup” hat from atop the monument and replace it with an upperclassmen’s hat. It is a tradition that has endured at the Naval Academy for many years. More than 200 pounds of lard applied to the monument by upperclass midshipmen complicate the task. Tradition states that the plebe who reaches the top will rise to the rank of admiral first.


The best. In case you didn’t know of this tradition before today, the freshman (plebe) class spent this afternoon building human pyramids so that they could scale a lard-covered monument and place a hat on top. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Only one of the best college traditions. Good on them, another awesome Maryland school tradition and nothing gets set on fire.

PS: Nobody has gotten the short end of the stick like the bro whose shoulder pressed his buddy up to the top. Nobody.