In 1932, Curley Byrd, who served both as the school's football coach and president, proposed adopting the Maryland diamondback terrapin as the University of Maryland mascot. The first statue of Testudo cast in bronze was donated by the Class of 1933 and was displayed on Baltimore Avenue in front of Ritchie Coliseum. However, the 300 pound mascot statue was subjected to vandalism by visiting college athletic teams. Testudo was later filled with 700 pounds of cement and fastened to his pedestal to prevent thefts, but students at rival schools continued to vandalize it. Testudo was moved to Byrd Stadium in 1951. In the 1960s, Testudo was again moved to a spot in front of McKeldin Library, where it has since become a good luck charm for some students who rub his nose during finals week. The name Testudo came from a Roman word, testudo, that was derived from Latin and meant a shelter held over the head of Roman soldiers.
You can join Testudo, the Spirit Squad, and the University of Maryland Marching Band two and a half hours before kickoff of every Terrapins home game as the University of Maryland football team walks down Terp Alley on its way to Byrd Stadium. Terp Alley runs from the top of Field House Drive, at the traffic circle near the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and Ludwig Soccer Field, to the steps leading down to the Gossett Football Team House on the south side of Byrd Stadium. It is a short, but very important walk for the Terrapins football team as they prepare for that day's football game.