The Hill Rush was a short lived tradition, lasting about four years from 1911 to 1915. It is possible that this event is related to a Stair Rush which took place on the steps of the Main Building in earlier years.

After a short parade in which we were well taken care of by the upper classmen, and kindly guided by the gentle hands of the Sophomores we arrived at the hill. For the benefit of all concerned the blocks at the top of the hill had been taken out leaving a sandy mushy surface through which it was almost impossible to wade, especially with half dozen Sophomores on one's shoulders.

Again at the signal the "rookies" charged up against the holders of the hill. Faces were scraped across the dirt, legs wrenched, shins barked; and heads bumped, but in vain for at the end of the alloted twenty minutes, after an heroic struggle, we were delcared the losers, having succeeded in getting only three men to the top out of the odd hundred who participated!   (1914 Transit)

Hill Rush Rules:
Section 1. A hill rush shall be held during the evening after the cane rush in accordance with the following rules.

Section 2. The Rush shall take place on Grand Street between Seventh and Eighth streets.

Section 3. At 8:00 p.m. the Seniors, Juniors and Freshmen shall leave the gymnasium, marching through Seventh Street to Grand Street. The Freshmen shall wait at the corner of Grand and Seventh streets until the Seniors and Juniors have taken their places along the curb and the street is clear. At a signal from the Referee after the street has been cleared the Freshmen shall start up the hill. The Sophomores may attack them any time after the head of the Freshmen line shall have reached the east line of Institute alley. The Sophomores shall not be permitted East of the east curb of Eighth Street. The rush shall continue twenty minutes from the time the Referee gives the signal to the Freshmen to start up the hill. If at the end of that time one-fifth or more of the Freshmen who were in line at the time the Referee gave the signal to start, have reported to the Referee or his representative on the east sidewalk of Eighth street at the head of Grand Street, the Freshmen shall be declared the winners, otherwise the Sophomore shall be declared the winners.

Section 4. No ropes, chains or similar articles shall be used in this rush by either class.

Section 5. Any Freshmen who reports to the Referee or his representative a second time or who has not come up Grand Street from Seventh street between curb lines during the progress of the rush shall cause ten men to be subtracted from the number who have reported to the Referee.

[Student Handbook, 1913-1914]


Rushes * Student Traditions * Institute History * Archives Home

Contact Us
© Institute Archives and Special Collections, Rensselaer Libraries
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th St., Troy, NY 12180-3590