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Traditions, legends and myths of Yale University

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The friction of the left shoe statue of Theodore Dwight Woolsey

This tradition is very similar to Harvard, which is not surprising, because both universities have much in common. Theodore Dwight Woolsey (Theodore Dwight Woolsey, 1801-1889 ) – Former President of Yale. His bronze statue is located on campus in the part, which is called the Old Campus. According to legend, the friction of the left shoe statue brings luck for students before exams. This tradition tells numerous groups of tourists visiting the campus, offering his own shoe rub. As a result, in fact, the shoe and is rubbed to a shine. They say that it is very difficult to find a graduate of Yale older than 30 years, who ever heard of the shoe Theodore Dwight Woolsey.

Cursed Stone

Millstone in the pavement in the courtyard of Branford College near Harkness Tower for some time became the object of superstition. According to legend, if a student comes to the stone, he or she will never finish this school. The reasons for this curse is not entirely clear, although there is a version that once fell builder from Harkness Tower at this place and fell to his death. According to another version in 1718 college students Saybrook at Yale dismantled bull carts, which were supposed to translate the Yale library in New Haven. And this millstone – nothing else, as the wheel of one of the carts.


Why Yale has gymnasium (sports complex), built in the Gothic style? There is a myth that Mrs. Payne Whitney wanted to Yale University has built on its money big cathedral, but the university chose gymnasium. Since Mrs. Payne Whitney was already at an advanced age, the university administration has considered that it can be a little hold and build an object, a right the university than the cathedral. The university administration has given the task to the architect John Russell Pope (John Russel Pope) to design a gymnasium, which would have gone to the appearance of the cathedral. Then, after the completion of the gymnasium, President of Yale University drove Ms. Payne Whitney past the building. Soon she died; being satisfied with what gave Yale a large building for worship.

Davenport College

When Yale University went beyond the streets of York Street for the construction of two new colleges in 1930, architect James Gamble Rogers (James Gamble Rogers) decided that the Georgian architecture of red brick is more suitable surrounding area than the Gothic architecture that was so popular up this. In addition, the Georgian-style building was cheaper to build. But as one of the colleges, namely, Davenport College facade go out on York Street, where Rogers has created a gothic columns for colleges and Branford Saybrook, he made the facade of the College of the bright stones such as sandstone and gave him the details of Gothic architecture.

It seems fairly simple story, almost too easy to talk about it. Therefore, the creators of myths at Yale University have come up with a family drama worthy of the pen of Aeschylus. According to one version, Ms. Stef Hakness (Stephen Harkness) has allocated money for the construction of Harkness Tower with the proviso that any building constructed within sight from its top should be in the Gothic style, which actually resulted in the architecture Street York Street. But there is one problem. The inside of Davenport College can be seen from the tower. According to another version, the architect James Gamble Rogers died during the construction of his son, who continued his father’s work, quickly moved away from the Gothic style, so beloved by James Gamble Rogers. But the catch is that Rogers died only in 1947, after the construction is completed college. There is also a version that Hakness Edward (Edward Harkness), son Stef Hakness hated Gothic style and is therefore ignored the wishes of his mother after her death.

Statue of Nathan Hale

Nathan Hale – a graduate of Yale in 1773 was executed in ’21. On the statue, located near the building of the Connecticut Hall, circled the base of the monument is engraved very memorable phrase, uttered before his death as the last word: “I regret that I have but one life that I can give for my country.” Intravital portraits of Nathan Hale did not survive, so sculptors creating his statues, guided by imagination and common sense.

Disappearing Library

We are talking about the Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts Bayneke (The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library). This scandalous in some way so the legend is left to say “lastly” numerous groups of tourists visiting the campus. In case of fire, fire complex library system automatically sucks all the oxygen out of the room where the shelves with books. But in this case suffers from library staff, had the misfortune to be inside. In addition, the entire building can be lowered below ground level to protect the library from a nuclear explosion. The initial fire extinguishing system, which was subsequently replaced, has been designed so as to fill the shelves by carbon dioxide, but operate this system was only possible after the evacuation of the library staff. They say that the immersion of the library below ground level – an inefficient way, because in this case the book, though not burn, but get wet due to groundwater.


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