Hands on front and back side of Healy Hall clock tower missing

Today Vox woke up to the sound of the clock tower bells ringing on this spooky, rainy morning. Something felt amiss, and a quick glance out the window revealed the great gaping travesty on the face of the Healy clock tower. Some time during the night the hands of Healy Hall’s clock tower went missing. Rumors are circulating that the hands were stolen by mischievous seniors on the prowl in the night.

According to Wikipedia, the clock hands are traditionally stolen by students and mailed to the Vatican stamped “return to sender”. The last time the clock hands were stolen was in 2005.

The grand mystery begins, investigative journalism pants are on, and updates to come. Vox suggests you keep your watches on; it’s going to be a long day.

Update (6:30 PM): Clock tower missing second set of hands on back side as well.


Check back later for updates on the Case of the Missing Clock Hands

Photo: Abby Sherburne










Back side of tower

Photo: Kirill Makarenko

29 Comments on “Hands on front and back side of Healy Hall clock tower missing

  1. i always wanted to do that..ever since my first tour. #hoyaforever

  2. I’m sure there are only a few people with a key, so this shouldn’t be too difficult. But how exactly does one remove them?

  3. I hope they don’t forget to mail them to the Pope as tradition demands. The trick is to go to a post office far enough from campus that they’re not looking for a clockhands-shaped parcel.

  4. Having a key isn’t the only way to get through a door…

  5. True, how big are these clockhands? I’m imagining 100 pound metal objects. And removing them from the inside seems impossible.

  6. What an heroic accomplishment for the Class of 2012! We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on, we’re going to survive! For today we celebrate our stolen clock hands day!

  7. Is is true that the two students who stole the clock hands in 2005 were expelled?

  8. Nope, not expelled. They received a year probation, community service hours, and an essay on “more constructive traditions.”

  9. The “fun-loving” administration would never try to expel students for following a tradition

  10. Let’s not forget that soon the administration will need ‘clear and convincing evidence’ to find students responsible for conduct violations.


  11. Wow, I thought it would never happen again.

    Bravo, good sirs.

  12. If the hands have indeed been stolen, the thieves likely won’t be able to send them via US mail because of the 70-lb weight limit for international mail. I know; I’m a nerd…

    @#mostwanted This is just my two cents, but I understand that the vast majority of people have code of conduct violations adjudicated through administrative review (parallel to a plea bargain, I guess) instead of conduct boards, and there’s one administrator in particular that deals with that. Maybe I’m cynical, but I highly doubt that this shade of difference in standards of proof will change how he (or she?) does business.

  13. Another fine example of how DPS is keeping our campus safe.

  14. Nope. Pretty sure only dudes are adventurous enough to attempts something this risky (and heavy).

  15. @ @@Steven

    Hope that was sarcasm. The only person I ever knew at Georgetown who managed to make it onto the Healy rooftop was a chick, and that involved a whole lot of risky shenanigans to get there.

  16. I started doing some investigating before I took my 4 hour nap today. Whoever did it cut through several locks with big bolt cutters and broke through a few doors. Also you don’t have to get onto Healy rooftop to get them, there’s a window that opens up behind the hands, so all you have to do is lean out.

  17. Everyone’s focusing on it being the last day of school. It’s also the day OBL was killed. #SealTeamSixStrikesAgain

  18. Your theories about the culprit are way off. I had to get to them before the Germans did. The Healy clock hands belong in a museum!


  20. @Dr. Jones, again we see there is nothing you can possess which I cannot take away.

  21. Okay everybody, enough guessing. I’ve got Wi-Fi on my flight to San Antonio and thought I would put an end the false rumors, accusations, and confessions. No current students were involved in the clock hand theft, only a well-meaning alumnus on the hunt for history’s greatest lost treasures. But what do the clock hands have to do with history’s greatest lost treasures?

    It all started when a rival treasurehunter accused my great uncle Theodore Gates of that my great uncle Theodore Gates sunk the battleship Maine and started the Spanish-American War. I had to defend my family and find the truth, which somehow led me on a chase for the lost platinum hoard of the Committee of 300. One clue led to another until I discovered that the latitude and longitude coordinates were sealed into the Healy tower clock hands after they survived the British burning of Washington in the War of 1812 and were eventually given to Georgetown as a gift for harboring America’s founding documents during that troubling time. The clock hands form a sort of puzzle that only a master historian/treasure hunter/puzzle enthusiast/Georgetown alumnus/somehow both dashing and approachable man such as myself could figure out. Needless to say, I figured it out and with little time to spare as we were soon found by a treasure hunting splinter-group of the Daughters of the American Revolution. We escaped through the tunnels below Georgetown after a fun and family-friendly chase through Reiss where my sidekick Reilly made some great wisecracks and I totally saved Dr. Abigail Chase a few times.

    Now, I’m on my way to San Antonio to the treasure’s final resting place: The Alamo. But can we get the treasure before it’s too late? Can I clear my uncle’s name and find out what really happened to the USS Maine? These thoughts way heavily on me as does my ancestor’s legacy. I know I should be used to this by now, but this feels like my greatest adventure. Perhaps my final adventure? Keep me in your thoughts, my peers; God willing, I will leave the Alamo with a shitload of platinum.

  22. I had always heard that only 1 set of hands went to the pope, the other was supposed to go to POTUS.

  23. I only got one big question! Where was our almighty DPS security? Was there a drunk student, a student urinating in public or a student with some drugs that kept them from being in front of healy lawn? Or could it be our almighty DPS security were someplace sleeping, watching a movie or eating instead of patrolling the campus! Either way this should and I think all of us should start to question on how DPS is run and trained. Those are big hands I’m sure someone saw who did it. Oh one other big question, isn’t Healy hall locked on all side from late in the evening to early morning? So how did they get in, I think that is the bigger question! How did they get in?

  24. Am I right to believe that in the morning only the East side hands were missing and then later in the day the West side ones went missing as well? If so this presents the greatest puzzle of all. How in the whole world would they able to go BACK to get the other hands? Or did the University pre emptively remove them?

  25. I saw this in the Thomas Crowne affair. The hands are still there.

    Haul the water canons up from the firehouse on M street and blast the clock face.

    The Arabic majors did this I tell ya’!

  26. The hands weigh less than five pounds each, and that’s mostly in the white counterweight. They’re some type of plastic. That’s how they’re able to turn with very little energy requirement

  27. Note to Hoyas: You can’t pay me to give the commencement address with a pair of cheap plastic clock hands . . .

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