The spring is the season where students study hard for finals, prepare for the summer, and, in many cases, try to plan their lives beyond college. It’s also the season for some really exciting pranks.

The latest comes from Georgetown University, where, according to an article by Jenna Johnson in the Washington Post:

Georgetown University students awoke this morning to find that the clock tower on Healy Hall no longer showed the time. The clock hands were missing [right].

This is apparently a longstanding Georgetown prank. Students routinely removed the clock hands throughout the 1960s and 70s. Once students mailed the stolen hardware to the Vatican to receive the Pope’s blessing. Two students removed the clock hands again in 2005.

But Georgetown, fulfilling a longstanding academic administrator tradition of not getting the joke, is apparently very annoyed. According to Johnson:

Georgetown’s Department of Public Safety is investigating the incident, Georgetown spokeswoman Rachel Pugh said in an e-mail. She added that stealing university property is a “serious violation of Georgetown’s Student Code of Conduct.”

The last time students stole the clock hands, in 2005, the university put the students on disciplinary probation for a year and made the culprits write something about “more constructive university traditions.”

Apparently it cost Georgetown about $25,0000 to repair the clock after the 2005 incident.

Georgetown, however, has an endowment of $1.162 billion. That can cover a lot of clock repair. [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer