43rd Annual Watermelon Drop at UCSD


The Revelle College tradition that marks the end of the school year at UCSD took place beginning at 11:30 a.m. Friday, June 6.

A “Watermelon Queen,” Ricardo Gonzalez, was chosen by the students. The official watermelon toss took place at 12:05 p.m. from the top (7th floor) of Urey Hall – to the countdown by the crowd below.

“The students did such a great job planning it all,” said Janice Lew, coordinator of student activities.

The goal of the toss is to break velocity/splat records. Hundreds of UCSD students gathered to witness this annual ritual and students tried to predict where the farthest piece would land.

Following the drop, Revelle College hosted its traditional end of quarter barbecue, with free watermelon and entertainment. Admission was free to the public.


The Watermelon Drop (or splat or toss) originated with UCSD’s first undergraduate class in 1965. All Revelle freshmen took a physics class with professor Bob Swanson. As a physics problem, Swanson asked: “If a watermelon was dropped from a 7-story building, where would the farthest piece land?” and “What would be the velocity on impact of the watermelon?”

Members of the class arranged the actual watermelon drop from Urey Hall, voted for a “Watermelon Queen” and the drop has been an annual challenge each year.

Assorted facts: Elizabeth Huller was the first Watermelon Queen. The first splat measured 91 feet. The terminal velocity of a watermelon when it hits the ground is about 112 miles per hour. The best official record for the splat is 167 feet 4 inches set in 1974. The event is sponsored by Revelle Programming Board and Revelle College Council.