Batter up!  Johns Hopkins University gets its own ice cream flavor, Blue Jay Batter

Blue Jay Batter debuts on Tuesday on the upper quad of Hopkins' Homewood Campus. (Photo courtesy The Johns Hopkins University / September 17, 2013)

Johns Hopkins University now has its own official ice cream flavor, Blue Jay Batter.

The blueberry cheesecake-flavored ice cream, which was developed for the university in collaboration with Dominion Ice Cream, is debuting at 2 p.m. today at a special event on the upper quad of Hopkins' Homewood Campus. Students, faculty and staff will be treated to free ice cream samples and Blue Jay Batter T-shirts.

After the debut, Blue Jay Batter will be available just across the main campus at Dominion Ice Cream, which is best known for its vegetable ice cream flavor like sweet potato, spinach, carrot, sweet corn and beet. 

Donna Calloway, the owner of Dominion Ice cream, mixed batch after batch until the new flavor acquired its nice bluejay-like shade, according to a Hopkins spokewoman.

And in case you're wondering, as I was, how Hopkins acquired its nickname, here's the Hopkins "fast fact" answer:

  • At first, the Johns Hopkins athletic teams were called simply "the Black and Blue," based on the university's athletic colors. Then, in 1920, some undergraduates launched a student humor magazine called "The Black and the Blue Jay." The "black and blue" came from the colors, of course, and the "Jay" most likely came from the "J" in Johns Hopkins. The student humor magazine became popular and began being quoted nationally in such publications as "College Humor" and "The Literary Digest"   In the spring of 1922, the "News-Letter" occasionally began to refer to Johns Hopkins athletes as "Blue Jays," most likely because some of the editors of "The Black and the Blue Jay"  and the News-Letter worked on both publications. The nickname didn't become the standard reference for several years. Both the "News Letter" and other newspapers — such as "The Baltimore Sun" and "The Washington Post" — still referred to Johns Hopkins athletes as "the Black and Blue" well into the 1920s. Sometimes they also referred to Johns Hopkins players as the Blue Jays — and eventually, the Blue Jays became the favored name.