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 printed ephemera that describes the origins of the motto, as well as local publicity materials; photographs; and memorabilia, such as t-shirts, stickers, and more, featuring the slogan "I’d Rather Be Studying."
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.
Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.
Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.
Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the special collections reading room staff.
0.5 Linear Feet (1 letter size box)
3 Photographs : Color
56 Items : 44 stickers, 1 hat, 1 button, 4 t-shirts, 1 pair of shorts, 1 poster, 2 wallets, and 2 pencils
The collection includes printed ephemera that describes the origins of the motto, as well as local publicity materials; photographs; and memorabilia, such as t-shirts, stickers, and more, featuring the slogan “I’d Rather Be Studying.”
This collection is organized into three series:
Dr. John Pease donated this collection to the University of Maryland Libraries in February 2000. Since then, he has donated two accruals to the collection in October 2018 and January 2023.
This collection has been minimally processed. After each accession was received, paper materials were housed in acid-free folders, memorabilia was wrapped in tissue paper and/or placed in envelopes, and all materials were housed in archival boxes. Though the materials have been intellectually arranged into series, they are physically grouped by accession, with the exception of the photographs, which were seperated and stored in the unprocessed photographs filing cabinet.