The prestigious University of Begma grew so big in its 400 years of tenure that it consumed the neighboring Independent Colleges to become one, giant, behemoth of a University sporting over 40,000 students, thousands of faculty, several enormous libraries, and Boat Race Night.
The St. Thymes College of Science and Engineering
The College of Science and Engineering is the most revered and most competitive college at the University of Begma. It engages shamelessly in legacy admissions to its rolls so many of the students are Children, Grand-Children and Great-Grandchildren of Previous Distinguished Graduates. It does preserve seats for New Blood if only to keep SCIENCE ever moving forward.
The State bequeaths enormous amounts of money to St. Thymes College which the Administration promptly spends on larger, more elaborate buildings. St. Thymes College has built so many libraries, lecture halls, laboratories, and conference centers new students are often lost for weeks and hopeless without a map. The first week of classes are often bare in the freshman-level courses. Some new students have unwittingly descended beneath the St. Thymes College West Engineering Building Steam Tunnels and never emerged. Rumor has it some wander down there still, asking the occasional traveler where their Physics 101 class meets.
The classes are quite difficult and some students have gone mad attempting to complete their classload. Occasionally, near the time of Final Exams, one or more the laboratory buildings meet with Unfortunate Accidents.
Legend has it that those who kiss beneath the arches of West Engineering on Boat Race Night will fall in love and become bitter engineering rivals forever.
The Witherton School of Analytical Engineering
Witherton is a small school within St. Thyme's, specializing in the design and construction of Difference Engines. The students of Witherton are caricatured as pastier than normal, and prone to social awkwardness.
The MacWhirter Memorial Galvanic Laboratory
Named for the first Begman to perform large-scale experiments with Galvanic generators, and dedicated to the field of study that took his life, the MacWhirter Lab is where the newest and most dangerous experiments on the U of B campus can be found. The lab is surrounded by the smell of ozone, and one's hair stands on end over two hundred yards away. Serious safety precautions have reduced the fatalities to less than ten per year, a banner achievement.
The Mordecai School of Civil Engineering
The birth of the Pneumatic Tube Network, and city planners par excellence, 'Mordies' try their best to apply the ideals of Begman engineering to urban planning. Really, it works about as well as it sounds.
The Salisbury College of Law
The Salisbury College of Law is named for Sir Rufus Cottonward, Lord Salisbury, who established the base of the Common Constitution of the People of the Republic of Begma during the Great Discussions on Laws and Other Important Things and established the Republic. Lord Salisbury is also well known for having established Political Discourse and Oratory as the Begman National Popular Sport.
Those who cannot be engineers next attempt to enter the College of Law. The students are often referred to as "Sportos" by the Engineers, who find the proto-Lawyers to be insufferably friendly, outgoing, and fond of the outdoors. The College of Law, however, is every bit as competitive as the St. Thymes School of Engineering, and more than one duel has been fought over the Honor of the Schools. Today, most of the anger over rivalry between schools is expressed in Boat Race Night.
The Graduate School of the Law School offers cross-disciplinary higher level degrees with the College of Classics. Many of the most distinguished graduates of the Salisbury Graduate School go on to play Law at the National Competitive Level: Parliament.
The Walpole-Watson College of Medicine
For those who cannot quite make it in Science and Engineering, and are not enough of a Sporto to become a Lawyer, there is always the pride of the Medical Profession. After all, with the scientist and engineers occasionally blowing themselves and each other up with their newest and most interesting achievements, someone has to perform emergency field surgery.
The Walpole-Watson College of Medicine is one of the highest rated schools in the Golden Circle, and famed for producing the only truly useful cross-cultural degrees and training from the University of Begma. Focused on practicalities, the College of Medicine focuses on training doctors to keep the Begman engineers alive with emphasis on pathology, anatomy, surgery, and diagnosis. Many of Begma's wealthiest families send their second or third sons to the Walpole-Watson College of Medicine in a spirited attempt to keep the first son, who no doubt attends St. Thymes, in one whole and plausibly functional piece.
The St. Egbert Lindisfarne College of Classics and Arts
For those who cannot seem to manage engineering, science, law or medicine, there is always the catch-all rule of the Classics. The Classics are a self-sustaining system: someone has to learn and master the Classics and become a Professor of Classics to teach the next generation of those who wish to learn and master the Classics. Otherwise, they are just books that lie about all over the place and no one wants that.
The St. Egbert Lindisfarne College of Classics and Arts, better known as "Eggy" to the students, is the largest in sheer population of all the colleges as it is a "catch-all" school. It covers every topic the other colleges do not: literature, the arts, music, language, history, culture and philosophy. The library is enormous, but it never touches the engineering library — they are kept at a respectful distance to one another based on a concept of territory and concern that the two libraries, if in contact, will explode.
The St. Egbert Lindisfarne College of Classics is better respected for its smaller and more exclusive Graduate School. It offers several cross-disciplinary higher level degrees with the other Colleges to produce "well-rounded" students. Its most influential is the brand new Economics programme where students of Law or Engineering attempt to adapt their specialized training to the modern Trade and Governmental mindset. Another very competitive school is the school of Political Science within St. Egberts which trains today's Law School Graduates in to tomorrow's Foreign Diplomats.
While normally disparaged by the St. Thymes College of Engineering, St. Egbert's is earning a new reputation as a powerhouse in training tomorrow's young businessmen. Discovering something to be learned from the classics, a new school of thought has emerged where the classics of yesterday are applied to the business issues of today with Varying Begman Results.
The Beaufort School of Experimental Gastronomy
U of B's cooking school is a part of St. Egbert Lindisfarne College. The things they do to food should be illegal. Their competition with St. Aubergine's culinary school is so fierce as to outmatch some blood feuds in the Eregnor mountains.
The St. Aubergine College of Divinity
For those who cannot comprehend math, physics, chemistry, law, biology, medicine, or, in fact, cannot read at all, there is always the College of Divinity. Begmans, as a whole, are not terrifically religious people, but they do need questions answered like: "Does God live in the Machine?" and "Can we put God in a machine?" and "If we have God in a Machine, can we make Him power our Difference Engines?"
Occasionally, Begmans do have sudden attacks of faith, especially after they survive a particularly nasty explosion, and turn to the Men of the Cloth who are well trained to speak platitudes, furnishing with a nice bit of tea and offering cake. The St. Aubergine College of Divinity does have a library, but it holds only one book. Granted, it is a very large book. It is a book with a grand number of pages, all holding text of great importance because, in a society full of engineers who make things explode, Begmans never throw away a good prayer to any good God who might, possibly, be happening by at the time when things are going all pear shaped. There are many atheists in Begma's engineering labs as there are in foxholes.
The St. Aubergine College of Divinity also hosts a small sub-school, the Golden Circle School of Culinary Arts and Fine Dining so the priests, if at all, can put together a smashing pot-luck.
The Greek System
The University of Begma boasts a large, well-established, and boisterous Greek System of both fraternal orders and sororities. When the University was first established, it had only two, both dedicated to experimentations with beer, consumption, and working trousers in to the occasion. Now with an expanded system and a firm policy of both legacy and nepotism in place, young incoming students flock to the Fraternity Houses to Rush every Fall. They dream of embarrassing initiation rights, forcible chugging of highly liquid and flammable substances, and forming lifelong bonds that will encourage future flagrant abuses and nepotism. One notable fraternity is the Alders.
Boat Race Night
At the end of the year, every year, the two competitive intramural crew teams from St. Thymes and Salisbury meet for final combat. The entire population of Begma City jostle for position along the River (something) and watch the two crew teams race along a 25 mile stretch. Once a winner is proclaimed, the entire city pushes into the pubs, drink copiously, and pinch policeman's helmets for no clear reason whatsoever.