The Oddities at the University of Richmond

University of Richmond Campus

By Julia Czech
By Julia Czech
Unigo Campus Rep at the University of Richmond

Legend of the Gazebo 

The gazebo at the University of Richmond is one of the most beautiful and peaceful spots on campus. It sits in the middle of the lake and is connected to both sides of campus by an old wooden bridge. However, this calm location has a disturbing legend that accompanies it. It has been said that if you kiss someone while in the gazebo you are fated to marry that person and, if you do not, you are doomed to never love again.

To avoid this fate you have to get the person you kissed to walk backwards around the lake three times before you push them off the gazebo and into the lake. This will apparently remove the curse and leave you free to marry whoever you want to. No students have reported problems resulting from this dilemmabut the legend does give couples pause before they venture into the gazebo.

A Gaggle of Geese 

The University of Richmond has been invaded by a gaggle of geese! These large, loud, grey-feathered fowls have staked out the campus as their territory and can be seen wandering all around the lake and even up by the library. They are led by the vicious white Triceragoose, also known to some as King Duck, who is not afraid to chase students if they get too close to his gaggle. Most of the geese, however, are friendly and spend their time wandering in a group near the water. Neighborhood children often come around to feed them, and traffic occasionally backs up when all the birds cross the street at once. They also enjoy making loud honking noises late into the night. But regardless of their occasional aggression and disruptiveness, Triceragoose and his gaggle are an integral part of this campus and add a little excitement to everyday life.

A Musical Midday 

If you are ever walking around the University of Richmond campus around 12:30 pm or 5:00 pm you might be surprised to be greeted by a melodious and harmonious tune originating from the bell tower attached to the library. The electronic bells play different songs: “Jingle Bells” and other seasonal ditties during the holiday season, for example, and the alma materduring major school events. Students have heard “So This is Love,” “Down at the Races,” and other short traditional songs as well. The songs are generally prerecorded, but the bell player claims that she occasionally will play a song live. These bells are a distinctive part of campus and they make that walk to class just a little bit more cheerful and musical.

Walk Like an Egyptian 

The oldest undergraduate at the University of Richmond is about 3,000 years old: Her name is Ti-Ameny-Net and she has been at UR since 1880. She has seen the college develop from its early campus in downtown Richmond to its current location and quality, and it is said that she was even initiated into a sorority during her years here. .

Ti-Ameny-Net is a mummy who, according to x-rays, died childless at around 30 years old in 750 BCE. In 1875, she was given to Edward VII, the Prince of Wales, who then gave her to his Egyptian interpreter. The interpreter sold the mummy to Jabez Curry, a professor and trustee of the University of Richmond. She was displayed in the Centennial Expedition in Philadelphia in 1876 and then shuffled between UR’s library, science building, and, finally, the classics department. She now resides in the Ancient Worlds Gallery in the classics department and can be seen by any who dare to visit her. But beware: her coffin includes ancient hieroglyphic inscriptions from the Book of the Dead designed to ward of evil spirits and to curse any who disturb her.

Live and Learn 

This year the University of Richmond began its new Living and Learning Program, in which . 16 students who lived together in the same hall took a semester long class together as well as participate in several out-of-class activities. The options offered this year include the Civic Engagement House, the Outdoor House, the Campaign 2008 House, Spanish in the Community, and Life, Literature and Art.

Many of the classes offered unique teaching methods and assignments. For example, students in the Civic Engagement House created a documentary about specific urban issues in the city of Richmond, and the Outdoor House participated in an overnight camping trip prior to the start of school. The Campaign 2008 House was very active during the election creating posters, watching the presidential debates, or debating political issues in their lounge.

Next year the LLP will become part of the Sophomore Scholars in Residence program and students will have to apply to a year-long commitment to the courses.