Gotcha - Colleges pull April Fool's pranks

College newspapers for years have been making students laugh and giving school administrations' heartburn with their annual April Fool's Day editions.

This year, a few local college administrations have decided to join the game, too.

Bryn Mawr College announced this morning that it was dropping the "y" and "a" from its name to make it more Twitter friendly. In turn, Swarthmore College dumped its first "r," citing "150 years of pronunciation confusion." That two such established colleges with such a strong history of decision by consensus would make such a move at all or so quickly (even in a fool's world) of course, would only snag the most gullible.

But the gimmick certainly attracted a lot of attention.

"We're just having too much fun, I think! We set a record on Facebook for most shared post ever (for us)," said Alisa Giardinelli, a spokeswoman for Swarthmore, or Swatmore - take your pick. "It's been retweeted and favorited dozens of times. The video we have of our mascot literally picking up the R and walking away is "going viral" as one parent of an alum told us."

To see Swarthmore's video, go to http://www.swarthmore.edu/news-and-events/swarthmore-drops-r-from-name-to-fix-150-years-of-pronunciation-confusion.xml

Why are more colleges having fun with April 1? Greg Trevor, a spokesman for Rutgers University, points out that such efforts really do well on social media.

What a way to build audience.

Rutgers this morning told the world it was changing its mascot from the Scarlet Knight to the goldfinch, the state bird of New Jersey. Imagine all those big red "R's" going canary yellow. Why take such a step. Blame it on the Big Ten. Conference officials, as the spoof goes, asked the college to pick a mascot more representative of the entire state of New Jersey. Check out the video at www.rutgers.edu under "more news."

To see the announcement on Bryn Mawr (or Brn Mwr), go to: 

http://news.brynmawr.edu/2014/04/01/bryn-mawr-college-changes-its-name-to-more-twitter-friendly-brn-mwr/

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