Dear Editor:

In the fall of 1965, I was a freshman in the Georgetown College living on the fourth floor of Old North. Another freshman, who shall remain unnamed, and I decided to steal the hands from the clock on Healy Tower. We went up through the attic of Healy Hall after picking the lock on the attic door. We were able to open a small door on the face of the clock. This allowed us to remove the hands of the clock. Once we had them, we did not know what to do with them. But then we were struck with a brilliant idea. We took the larger of the two hands, wrapped it in tissue paper and placed it in a long flower box. We then had the box with the clock hand delivered to the new dean of discipline with a note saying, “Dear Dean: Here is a gift from the freshman class of the College to let you know that we are always willing to give you a hand.” The dean was very pleased to receive our gift, which he thought was a mace, a medieval symbol of authority. He had the clock hand mounted on his office wall in a place of honor for all to see. Several weeks later, the dean was in his office working when a janitor came in to clean. The janitor looked at the mace and asked, “Father, why do you have the hand of the Healy clock on your wall?” History does not record the dean’s response, but suffice it to say that he was not happy. After this story got around the campus, he was even less happy. Fortunately, I was never apprehended. And by now, I hope the statute of limitations has run out on my crime. My friend was caught and subsequently suspended from school. But he never gave me up, for which I will be forever grateful to him.

Mark G. Griffin (CAS ’69, LAW ’73)

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  1. Paula Swain says:

    What a coward! You let your friend take the blame and didn’t step up? Not much of a “friend”. You clearly cannot be trusted. I wonder how many people you sold out throughout your law career?

    My brother was a real prankster and also a Georgetown grad but he never let a friend take the blame. He always took his full share.

  2. Current Georgetown Student says:

    Props to you on the epic prank and getting away with it, Mark.

    The previous commenter is wrong — why would he turn himself in? His friend was equally guilty and happened to get caught, while he didn’t. It’s unlikely the punishment would have been any different if they knew he had an accomplice – no point in two people going down when only one has to.

    This dean of discipline sounds like a real pain in the ___ , glad you stuck it to him.

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