The origins of the "Deadline"

This morning I was thinking about the upcoming priority deadline for admission to the Evening UST MBA Program, and I wondered where the term deadline came from. It sounds a little morbid, right? Well after some online research – not utilizing Wikipedia – I have discovered the most likely origin of the term.

During the American Civil War, prisoners of war were not kept in material facilities but were corralled into specific areas. There they were held at gunpoint.
Often, the guards would create a line encircling the prisoners. If the prisoners crossed that line, they were likely to be shot. Thus, the line became the “dead line.”

Confederate captain Walter Bowie wrote, "On the inside of the stockade and twenty feet from it there is a dead-line established, over which no prisoner is allowed to go, day or night, under penalty of being shot." (The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 2, Volume 7, page 137.)

The priority deadline for the Evening UST MBA program is June 1. But rest assured, we will not hunt you down with weapons of war or threaten you in any way. This is a priority deadline aptly named because those who complete their admission file by this date receive priority in registration, meaning they generally get the classes they want on the days they want them. However, we do consider qualified applicants on a rolling basis, beyond the June 1 deadline.

Even so, with Memorial Day fast approaching, now is a great time to finish your application! It is the mark of an organized professional (and a savvy prisoner) to stay clear of the line of death. We look forward to reviewing your application!