Walking on a university seal





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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Walking on a university seal
By Kinshasa (Kinshasa) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 02:03 am: Edit

On our recent college tour, tour guides at two schools warned us about walking on a university seal on the floor of a building or outside an entrance. Tradition says that anyone who walks on it won't graduate, and any parent who walks on it won't get financial aid. (Both guides got big laughs) Has anyone else encountered this tradition at other colleges?

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 03:07 am: Edit

Nope! But hey, don't do it!
Susan

By Icarus (Icarus) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 03:37 am: Edit

Many traditions are school-specific. See me, I just skip the sixth step of Janss steps :-P very proprietary to UCLA

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 04:29 am: Edit

I think Duke has a similar traditions. I know Michigan has a similar superstition. If you step on the Michigan seal in front of the Graduate School Library as a Freshman, you will fail all your fina exams Freshman year. And it is true because I failed all my finals! Ok, maybe not. But all those campus traditions have antidotes. In Michigan, it involves some drnking, some getting naked and running around after a certain hour. I forget the particulars...(deliberate mental block). But it did not work for me anyway. I still failed my finals my Freshman year. And you know what's the deepest cut of all? I never even stepped on that damned seal!

By Digmedia (Digmedia) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 08:11 am: Edit

At Carnegie-Mellon, there is a brass relief of former President Hammerschlag (1920's?). The tradition there is to rub his nose, which will guarantee acing the final exams. That's the shiniest nose on campus!

By Sokkermom (Sokkermom) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 08:14 am: Edit

When we toured the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, they talked about drinking from some fountain in order to bring good luck..........

By 5st (5st) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 08:53 am: Edit

One version of the lore at the University of Michigan is that you failed your first blue book exam after stepping on the seal. Here is a true story (without cause and effect): My wife visited the campus the summer after she graduated, she deliberately stepped on the seal. She stepped off, got nailed by a bicyclist and broke her collar bone.

By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 09:03 am: Edit

Kenyon College is the location of one of the fabled seven Gates of Hell. Students must be very careful when walking past that gate---the two columns that flank the Middle Path.

By Kissy (Kissy) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 09:42 am: Edit

Princeton has its gates which only graduates can walk through, I think, and JHU has the seal you can't walk on. Cornell folklore has one about kissing by the statue of Ezra Cornell when the clock strikes and losing one's virginity or something like that. Maybe someone here can refresh my memory on that one.

By Clipper (Clipper) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 09:56 am: Edit

Georgetown has that lore too about stepping on the seal. I did look up the stats on graduation rates and 93% graduate in 4 years so I guess 7% must have stepped on that seal at some point!

When I went to Purdue they had a statue of lions and it was said that the lions would roar when a virgin walked by - legend has it that they haven't roared in 90 years!

By Ninjamom (Ninjamom) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 09:59 am: Edit

They mentioned it on the WPI tour as well...said if you step on the seal in the middle of the quad you won't graduate...

By Dmd77 (Dmd77) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 10:17 am: Edit

At MIT, you rubbed Ellen Swallow Richards' nose before finals. She was the first woman to graduate from MIT. (I'll have to ask my son if it's still done.)

By Coureur (Coureur) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 10:56 am: Edit

At Harvard they rub the foot of John Harvard's statue for good luck. They feature this on all the guided tours. But the Harvard students won't touch it, and if you tour Harvard you shouldn't either. Why? Because guys from MIT like to come over at night and pee on it.

At Wells College (not Wellesley), a small women's college, they have a tradition that it is taken as a sign from heaven that if all the freshman girls are virgins then that winter the lake freezes over. Of course we have a similar tradition here in southern California: When all the freshman girls at UCLA are virgins then Hell freezes over.

By Jenniferpa (Jenniferpa) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 12:50 pm: Edit

Bearing in mind that Wells in in upstate New York, I think for the lake not to freeze over global warming would have to move even faster that it has!

We toured one college that had the "don't step on the seal" and one which involved rubbing the nose of something, but for the life of me I can't remember where.

By Mini (Mini) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 01:14 pm: Edit

Those poor seals. Stepping on them? Gonna call out the ASPCA....

By Songman (Songman) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 01:37 pm: Edit

I rubbed John Harvard's foot in Harvard Yard, well maybe I actually kissed it. I also felt very lucky to have unbelieveable references including four famous grads .Alas the B- school rejected my app. This experience taught me to live by this motto,(Which has been attributed to two different authors?) "The harder I work, the luckier I get" Albert Einstein or Thomas Edison?

By Songman (Songman) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 01:39 pm: Edit

Coureur- Now that I think about it I did not kiss the foot. But now I understand why I did not get into the B- school. Thanks for the info.

By Mini (Mini) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 02:03 pm: Edit

UCSB has the one about drinking a beer and going surfing before your last final.

Come to think of it, they have one about drinking a beer and going surfing before every final.

Now that I think of it, they have one about drinking a beer and going surfing before just about everything!

(Doesn't UCSC have one about licking a banana slug?)

By Hoosfun (Hoosfun) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 03:42 pm: Edit

Songman,

Twas actually Thomas Jefferson who stated " I have found the harder I work, the luckier I become."

I sincerely hope you did not kiss John Harvard's foot... It's not the MIT guys, but rather the Harvard sports teams and clubs make a habit of peeing on it as part of initiations.

Brown College also has the "not passing through the gates until you are graduating" rumor.

Here at Mr. Jefferson's University, the rumor is that if you step on the big Z (placed by the Z Society) on the footbridge between the Curry School and Brown Residential College, you'll get pregnant... People also seem to avoid the seal of the 7 Society when possible.

Cheers.

By Newyorker06 (Newyorker06) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 03:56 pm: Edit

Steer clear of John Harvard's foot. A lot has been done to that boot over the years, the least offensive of which is nightly urine sessions.

By Coureur (Coureur) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 04:46 pm: Edit

>>Bearing in mind that Wells in in upstate New York, I think for the lake not to freeze over global warming would have to move even faster that it has! <<

No, it doesn't freeze over all that often. According to school records the lake first froze over in 1875 followed by 1912, 1918, 1934, 1948, 1962, and 1979; 1994 was a close call.

But with global warming and the modern sexual behaviour both working against it, the lake may well never freeze over again.

By Quynh2007 (Quynh2007) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 05:19 pm: Edit

about cornell, its walking across the Arts quad when the clock strikes midnight. You must be a virgin. Then, the two statues of the founders will stand up and meet in the middle to shake hands. Their footprints are still there...

By Songman (Songman) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 05:49 pm: Edit

A quick Google Search also attributed the saying "The harder I work, the luckier I get" to Armand Hammer. I wonder who Thomas Jefferson borrowed it from?

By Cornellhopeful (Cornellhopeful) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 11:03 pm: Edit

maybe I should avoid The Exorcist stairs when I get to Georgetown,lol...

By Coureur (Coureur) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 12:16 am: Edit

>>A quick Google Search also attributed the saying "The harder I work, the luckier I get" to Armand Hammer.<<

Hammer I would believe. The statement has too much of a modern feel to it to be Jefferson or even Edison.

By Gianscolere (Gianscolere) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 12:27 am: Edit

i went on a uchicago tour today and my guide mentioned the rumor that anyone who steps on the seal won't graduate in 4 years. i also read about it beforehand on the uchicago website, but i didn't know until i read this thread that so many other colleges have it.

By Gs86 (Gs86) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 04:59 pm: Edit

At Brown if you walk on the seal of Pembroke college (formerly the women's college, now part of Brown), they say you'll get pregnant (if you're a girl) or impregnate someone else (if you're a guy)

By A2a2 (A2a2) on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 06:21 pm: Edit

At Michigan, to break the curse of stepping on the seal, you run naked from the seal to the Bell Tower and back at midnight - and get back to the seal before the bells stop ringing.

At Bryn Mawr, students put pieces of fruit and other gifts at the foot of a statue for good luck before an exam.


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