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Prospective Students

Interesting USNA Facts

What is King Hall?

It is the midshipman dining hall at the United States Naval Academy where more than 4,000 people sit down at one time for dinner at 372 tables spread over a 55,000- square-foot area. Hot meals are served to all within five minutes, reflecting the efficiency that exists in King Hall. The staff in the academy's Midshipmen Food Service Division plan, prepare and serve more than 12,000 meals per day.

What is Tamanend?

The figurehead called "Tamanend" has, for many years, played a prominent part in the traditions of the Naval Academy. The original wooden image was sent to USNA in 1866 after being salvaged from the wreck of the ship of the line, "Delaware," which was sunk at Norfolk during the Civil War to prevent her from falling into Confederate hands. The builders of the "Delaware" intended the figurehead to portray Tamanend, the great chief of the Delawares, a lover of peace and friend of William Penn.

Who is Bill the Goat?

Bill the Goat is the mascot of the United States Naval Academy. The mascot is a live goat and is also represented by a costumed midshipman. There is also a bronze statue of the goat just inside Gate 1, the main gate to the Academy grounds. This statue also plays a role in "Army Week" traditions.

What is the Herndon Monument Climb?

At the sound of a cannon blast, 1,000 eager, screaming plebes charge toward a 21-foot grey monument that taunted them all year. They attempt to climb the lard-covered obelisk as thousands of spectators watch with the hopes that they complete the task quickly. This event at the U.S. Naval Academy is known simply as "Herndon" or the "Plebe Recognition Ceremony."

USNA History and Graduates