Do you know this rat? If so, tell us at (Illustration by Michael Vendiola)

Calling all Reg Rats

Wanted: The artist behind a newly iconic T-shirt.

When the Spring/19 issue of the University of Chicago Magazine came out, featuring a T-shirt with a drawing of the “Reg Rat” on the cover, the vaunted UChicago spirit of inquiry focused, laser-like, on two questions: Where did the shirt come from? And how can I get one?


Chatter on social media proved fruitless. The shirt is part of the Special Collections Research Center’s University Archives and likely dates back to the 1990s, but no one knows exactly where it came from. A campus organization probably made it as a fundraiser, but which one? When? And why?

Reg Rat T-shirt
(Photography by Nathan Keay, photo illustration by Michael Vendiola)

Did you create this Reg Rat design? Do you know who did? Can you harness your research experience and critical thinking skills to help us find out? The artist left a few potential clues: The call number on the book, the equation in the rat’s thought bubble—could the number of books in the piles be significant?

If you can help us solve the mystery, email If doing a good deed isn’t enough, we’re offering a reward.