Cult of Tom

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The Cult of Tom story orginated in 2000 when Tom Fleming ('00) and Jeff Grant ('00) were talking to each other and realized that people would wear pretty much any free T-shirt. Thus, Tom decided he could start his own cult merely by printing up shirts that said "Cult of Tom" and distributing them. The only rule for the Cult of Tom was that you must wear the T-shirt.

Then, Tom asked everybody with the shirt to wear it and come to his thesis defense to ask questions (perhaps silly questions or pre-arranged really intelligent ones). It was afterwards that "Cult of Tom" began being scratched onto Driscoll trays.

This is where the story diverges. Some say that Tom Stackpole ('01) got jealous and scratched out the orignal Tom and put his own name in. Others say that a friend of Tom's started the corrections, and thereby created a new Cult of Tom (Stackpole). At any rate, the original Cult of Tom supporters were angry, and scratched out the new Tom and replaced it with the old Tom. As a result, the system of odd-even number of Toms was created. An odd number of Toms meant Tom Fleming, and even numbers were Tom Stackpole.

Source: members of class of 2000, 2001 -- many of whom still have original Cult of Tom shirts.