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"I'd Rather Be Studying" Campus Motto collection

 Collection 0209-UA

In 1987, "I'd Rather Be Studying" became a campus motto in an attempt to rid the University of Maryland from its stigma as a party school and prioritize academics. Created by sociology professor Dr. John Pease, the sentence was publicized as the famous last words of fictional student "Sara Bellum" who died from lack of study. "I'd Rather Be Studying" continued to be used as a slogan for special events, such as Undergraduate Education Day, and university finals weekends through the late 1990s. The collection includes three photographs of a banner featuring the motto hanging outside the Stamp Student Union plus memorabilia materials documenting the origins of the motto, local publicity, Sara Bellum's examination book, and a thank-you note from university president Dr. Mote to Dr. Pease.


  • 1983-1999
  • Majority of material found within 1983-1999

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.


2 Folders

Guide to the "I'd Rather Be Studying" Campus Motto collection
Minimally Processed
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742