These mugs bearing MIT’s logo were handed out to prefrosh leaving the welcome ceremony of MIT’s Campus Preview Weekend last Thursday by pranksters waiting outside Rockwell Cage.
As some would later discover, when the mugs are heated, “MIT” is overwritten with “Caltech,” and “The Institute of Technology” becomes “The HOTTER Institute of Technology.”
Thirteen Caltech students had flown to Cambridge to distribute some 800 such mugs to high school students admitted to MIT as well as to Caltech alumni among MIT’s faculty and graduate student body.
Julie D. Jester, the leader of the group, said that the prefrosh were totally unsuspecting and seemed excited to add to their collections of free trinkets.
“We enjoy our prank rivalry between MIT and Caltech,” Jester said. “We wanted to rekindle that relationship.”
She said that ad-hoc groups of Caltech pranksters are funded by alumni donations and by sales of T-shirts from a 2005 CPW prank in the same spirit.
Another member of the group, Gregory R. Izatt, said that “CPW in particular is a really fun target,” noting how easy it is to blend in among the crowds.
In a tweet, MIT admissions officer Chris Peterson SM ’13 called the mugs “snake oil by charlatans from other coasts.”
Admissions officers had attempted to stop the prank, Izatt said, but they were too late.