Caltech President Thomas “Tom the Bomb” F. Rosenbaum awarded the prestigious Caltech Medal of Honor to one of the Institute’s broken sprinklers last Friday evening. Last Wednesday, the sprinkler played a crucial role in the apprehension of an audacious bike thief.
Often confused with the less distinguished American Medal of Honor, which is typically awarded to members of the military, the Caltech Medal of Honor is awarded to members of our valued community who go above and beyond the call of duty in service of the Institute. The Caltech Medal of Honor has been awarded to an inanimate object once before; in 2010, it was given to the Fleming Cannon for (literally and figuratively) putting up with quite a lot of shit.
The sprinkler in question is one of many residing along California Boulevard, and has been broken since May 2011. On Wednesday night at 3:13 AM, a thief attempted to make off with a bicycle lifted from the courtyard of Dabney Hovse. Two students saw and reported the “sketchy old guy” to security, who immediately took off in hot pursuit. The thief was about to cross California Boulevard and disappear into the shadows of San Marino when the sprinkler valiantly sprang to life, blasting the vagrant in the face with a debilitating stream of water. He was then tackled by no less than six security guards.
“If it weren’t for that sprinkler, we’d never have caught up to the guy!” said Herman B. Mendeley, Caltech Security Guard. “That sprinkler is a True Caltech Hero.”
The Torch was unable to reach the sprinkler for comment.