- Caltech's 100-year-old cannon is headed back to Pasadena and could
return to campus this weekend, or no later than next Tuesday.
The three-ton cannon was stolen March 28 by students from
archrival Massachusetts Institute of Technology posing as professional
movers. They took it back to their Cambridge, Mass., campus, and placed
a huge MIT class ring on its barrel.
Caltech spokeswoman Jill Perry said 23 Caltech students and
seven alumni flew to Cambridge on Sunday and retrieved the cannon early
Monday from its temporary home in front of MIT's Green Building.
"MIT students were there, the campus police were there, this took place in broad daylight," Perry said.
MIT students welcomed their Caltech counterparts and congratulated them
on the swiftness of their response. They planned to treat them to a
barbecue, Perry said, but campus police said they didn't have
permission for the fete.
"The cannon means a lot to us," said Scott Jordan, 22, one of
the students who helped recover it. Jordan is president of Fleming
House, where the cannon resides.
"We treat the cannon with a lot of respect. It's a piece of history, and we don't want it anywhere else but at Caltech," he said. "It all happened very quickly. Given the fact that it was rushed, I think it was great."
think everyone is very happy to get it back," said Tom Mannion,
Caltech's assistant vice president of student affairs. "The MIT
students were impressed by their sheer numbers and the speed with which
they got there. It went very well. It was very collegiate, the
take-back," he said.
The cannon will make the 3,000-mile trip back to Pasadena on
a freight truck. Mannion said there will likely be a gathering to
celebrate its return and "they'll probably fire it off."
In its place, in front of MIT's Green Building, the Caltech
students left a miniature cannon under glass and scrawled "Fleming" on
some Green Building windows.
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