Difference between revisions of "Traditions and Legends"

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* ''The Flat Hat'', [http://www.flathatnews.com/variety/2339/colonial-ghouls-ghosts-haunt-visitors 15 April 2008].
* ''The Flat Hat'', [http://www.flathatnews.com/variety/2339/colonial-ghouls-ghosts-haunt-visitors 15 April 2008].
*''The DoG Street Journal'', [http://www.dogstreetjournal.com/story/4159  What We Carry With Us], 7 June 2008.
*''The DoG Street Journal'', [http://www.dogstreetjournal.com/story/4159  What We Carry With Us], 7 June 2008.
*[https://www.wmalumni.com/?winter08_9 Pranks, Goofs, and Practical Jokes], ''William and Mary Alumni Magazine, Vol. 74 no. 2, Winter 2008, accessed 5 March 2009.
[[Category:College Traditions]]
[[Category:College Traditions]]

Revision as of 16:39, 5 March 2009

At the College of William and Mary, there is a great number of secret locations, rumors, activities, and urban legends.

"Secret" Locations

  • Lake Matoaka Ampitheatre, Boathouse, and Woods
  • Echo Point at the Tyler Family Busts: if a person stands at the precise center of the circle, with his back at the 3 busts of the Tyler family and facing Blair Hall and speaks, the speaker alone experiences a strange acoustic phenomenon and hears his words reverberated and amplified.
  • Greenhouse on the roof of Millington Hall
  • Observatory on the roof of Small Hall
  • Jamestown Road Tunnel
  • Underground Steam Tunnels

Unofficial Traditions

  • Triathlon: (1) Jump the wall of the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg and/or run through the maze of the Governor's Palace, (2) Swim (sometimes naked) in the Crim Dell, (3) streak across the Sunken Garden.
  • Spring Blow-Out: Imbibe in large quantities of alcohol to celebrate the last day of classes in the spring semester. Graduating seniors may also visit their freshmen dorms and toast their first dorm room. The college has severly condemned both these activities and provides alcohol-free alternatives to commemorate the final day of classes.

Legends and Urban Legends

  • If a couple kisses on the bridge across the Crim Dell, they will inevitably marry. To reverse this destiny, a person can later throw their partner off of the bridge.
  • The Crim Dell was ranked by Playboy magazine as the second most romantic spot on a college campus. According to an article in The Flat Hat, "Mark Duran, the research librarian at the Playboy Research Library in Chicago, classified th story as pure urban legend. “We have done those types of lists in the past, but William and Mary has never been on one of those lists,” he said. In fact, the College has never even graced the pages of Hef’s vaulted tome."[1]
  • Another from the same article in The Flat Hat holds that "College was invited to join the Ivy League in the 1950s, but declined. Another version states that there is a pending invitation to join." The Ivy League refers to an athletic conference formed in 1954 and there is no evidence that William and Mary, or another institution, was invited or declined.[2]
  • Morton Hall was built on a sinkhole and has been sinking into the ground for several years.[3]
  • The Wren Building was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. In fact, Wren never actually visited North America. He was the Surveyor General under King William, so it is plausible that Reverend James Blair brought designs back with him after receiving the charter for the school. The prime piece of evidence that purports the attribution of the building’s design to Wren is a book written by a William and Mary professor, Hugh Jones (for whom Jones Hall is named), in 1724, called '‘The Present State of Virginia. There is a quotation that says, "The building is beautiful and commodious, being first modeled by Sir Christopher Wren, adapted to the nature of the country by the gentlemen there." Given the doubt surrounding the building’s origins, Louise Kale, Executive Director of the Historic Campus summed up the current sentiment about the debate: "It may not be a Christopher Wren building, but it is the Christopher Wren Building".[4]
  • McGlothlin-Street Hall was built backwards. The building does look different from other buildings on the Old Campus, which can be attributed to the fact that it was built decades after the other buildings.[5]


  • The spirits of several disgruntled former students are said to haunt Tucker Hall.[6]
  • The spirits of students who were forced to attend the Indian School that was housed in the Brafferton run across campus.

In the News