I'm sure prestigious universities get all sorts of elaborate things attached to applications - songs, performances, art pieces - things intended to show off how special an applicant is. None of these things can match what arrived in the admissions office of the University of Chicago: a package containing an elaborate reproduction of Abner Ravenwood's journal from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Why University of Chicago? Because that's where Ravenwood was an Egyptologist in the 20s, and where he mentored student Henry "indiana" Jones, of course.
Here's UChicago's description of the package:
The package contained an incredibly detailed replica of “University of Chicago Professor” Abner Ravenwood’s journal from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. It looks only sort of like this one, but almost exactly like this one, so much so that we thought it might have been the one that was for sale on Ebay had we not seen some telling inconsistencies in cover color and “Ex Libris” page (and distinct lack of sword). The book itself is a bit dusty, and the cover is teal fabric with a red velvet spine, with weathered inserts and many postcards/pictures of Marion Ravenwood (and some cool old replica money) included. It’s clear that it is mostly, but not completely handmade, as although the included paper is weathered all of the “handwriting” and calligraphy lacks the telltale pressure marks of actual handwriting.
The package does not actually have real stamps on it— the outside of the package was crinkly and dirty as if it came through the mail, but the stamps themselves are pasted on and look like they have been photocopied. There is no US postage on the package, but we did receive it in a bin of mail, and it is addressed to the physical address of our building, Rosenwald Hall, which has a distinctly different address from any other buildings where it might be appropriate to send it (Haskell Hall or the Oriental Institute Museum). However, although now home to the Econ department and College Admissions, Rosenwald Hall used to be the home to our departments of geology and geography.
The UChicago admissions office has no idea who sent them the package, or why. They don't know if it's a prank by an existing student or an elaborate application by a prospective student. Or maybe just a joke from an Indy fan with a lot of time on his hands.
Click here to read the full story. If you know who is behind this, UChicago wants to know! I would too, just so I can buy them a beer.
Here are some of the pictures: