Carberry Day

Carberry Day

Friday the 13th
The students and faculty at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, celebrate the fictitious academic exploits of Professor Josiah Stinkney Carberry every Friday the 13th. It all began in 1929, when a young faculty member at Brown posted a notice saying that J. S. Carberry would give a lecture on "Archaic Greek Architectural Revetments in Connection with Ionian Philosophy" at eight o'clock, on a certain evening. Ben C. Clough, a retired Latin professor spotted the hoax and decided to join in the fun by inserting the word "not" between "will" and "give." After that, the joke took on a life of its own, and the ubiquitous Professor Carberry began to send postcards and telegrams with news of his latest exotic research trips. Articles under his name began appearing in scholarly journals and, in 1966, Brown gave Carberry a bona fide M.A. degree—awarded, of course, in absentia .
On Carberry Day, small brown jugs appear around the campus, and students and teachers fill them with change. The money goes to a book fund that Professor Carberry has set up "in memory of my future late wife, Laura."
CONTACTS:
Brown University
45 Prospect St.
Providence, RI 02912
401-863-1000; fax: 401-863-3700
www.brown.edu
SOURCES:
FolkAmerHol-1999, p. 42