The Most Loved Statues On College Campuses

The Most Loved Statues On College Campuses

Statues on college campuses tend to take on a life of their own, animated by students' traditions, legends and a penchant for pranking.

These cold, hard representations become a source of luck, a symbol of pride and achievement, and the world's most trustworthy confidante.

We took a look at the most loved campus statues, seeing what makes them so special to each school, and listed them here in no particular order. If you think we missed one, tweet it at us: @HuffPostCollege.

Texas Tech University: Will Rogers Statue
Legend has it this statue of Will Rogers on his favorite horse Soapsud was positioned for a very particular reason: Soapsud's bum faces school rival Texas A&M University. Before each home football game, Will Rogers is wrapped in red crepe paper, and during national tragedies the statue is wrapped in black crepe paper.
University Of Virginia: Homer
At UVA, the epic Greek author has more to worry about than the Trojan War: It's tradition for students to streak from the steps of the Rotunda -- 740 feet away -- to the statue of Homer. They kiss or smack his butt (depending on their height) and then run back to the Rotunda.
University Of California Los Angeles: Bruin Bear
David McNew via Getty Images
UCLA's Bruin Bear is one of the most protected statues around. Every year around the UCLA and University of Southern California rivalry week, the bear is guarded -- either by physical walls or a group of students called the "Bruin Bear Security Force" -- from vandalism as part of the schools' rivalry.
Columbia University: Alma Mater
Presiding over Columbia University's campus is Alma Mater, a statue of the goddess Athena. Legend has it, the first person in each class to find an owl hidden on the statue will be the valedictorian -- or marry a Barnard College student.
United States Naval Academy: Herndon Monument
The Herndon Monument was erected in 1860 in honor of Captain William Lewis Herndon. Now, it's covered in lard at the end of every year and plebes (first year students) work together to climb and put a sailor cap atop it. For tradition.
Lebanon Valley College: "Hot Dog" Frank Aftosmes
Lebanon Valley College
The life-size statue of "Hot Dog" Frank Aftosmes has been on campus since 1997. The statue commemorates Aftosmes, who opened a hot dog shop in town in 1928 and was "a counselor, resource, friend, and #1 fan" to the college.
University Of Maryland: Testudo
The Washington Post via Getty Images
During finals, students at the University of Maryland-College Park give food and other sacrifices to school mascot Testudo, a Diamondback terrapin. In December 2013, the offerings actually caught on fire.
University Of Maryland: Jim Henson Memorial
Also at UMD: how could you not love this adorable statue of Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets and Maryland alum, chatting with Kermit the Frog?
University Of Wisconsin: Abraham Lincoln
UniversalImagesGroup via Getty Images
Abe Lincoln sit powerfully in front of Bascom Hall at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. On graduation day, newly minted alums climb all the way up to his lap to sit, whisper goals and secrets, and -- of course -- take the ultimate graduation picture.
Hillsdale College: Margaret Thatcher
This lifelike statue of Margaret Thatcher, dedicated in 2008, is the only statue of the former British Prime Minister in North America, as of 2013.
Yale University: Theodore Woolsey
Phil Cardamone via Getty Images
On tours of Yale's campus, student guides tell hopeful students and their parents that it's tradition for Yalies to rub the toe of former university president Theodore Woolsey for good luck. ...But ask any actual student if they rub the toe, and they'll say absolutely not. A similar fake tradition exists with the John Harvard statue at Harvard University.
Mary Baldwin College: Da And Da
Mary Baldwin College
Da and Da are replicas of the statues Ham and Jam, who sit in front of Administration. Every year, senior art students paint Da and Da in fantastical bright colors and patterns.
Boston College: Eagle
The eagle statue in front of BC's Gasson Hall is one of the most well-known landmarks on campus. Originally used as decoration in a garden, it was donated to the college as they knew it would be taken care of -- the eagle is, after all, BC's mascot.
University Of Notre Dame: First Down Moses
Paul J Everett/Flickr
This statue outside the school's library is supposed to represent Moses chastising the Israelites for worshipping idols. But with a finger pointed up like that, he can only be saying one thing: Notre Dame is number one.
Rutgers University: William The Silent
Wikimedia Commons
William the Silent has occasionally been brought into a Princeton-Rutgers rivalry, with Princeton students vandalizing the statue. Additionally, according to campus lore, should a female virgin walk by, the statue whistles. Thus far, there has been no recorded whistling.
Bryn Mawr College: Athena
Students at Bryn Mawr College (home to dozens of wild traditions) leave offerings, often homemade, and handwritten notes to the statue of Athena for help both in and out of school.
Texas Christian University: Horned Frog
The horned frog -- or really, lizard -- sits in the center of TCU's campus, representing the school's mascot. Students rub his nose for good luck before exams.
Georgetown University: John Carroll
Alex Wong via Getty Images
A statue of the founder of Georgetown was actually not ready in time for its own unveiling. A painted plaster cast was in its place as dignitaries came to honor the statue, and the real statue was swapped in in the middle of the night.
Amherst College: Sabrina
Wikimedia Commons
Sabrina was brought to Amherst over 150 years ago and has since been subject to a series of pranks, involving dressing her up, stealing her, and flying her over athletic events. After the class of 2008 stole her in their senior year, they returned her at their five-year reunion in 2013. Less than two hours after she was returned, she was stolen by the class of 2003. Less than an hour after that, the class of 2014 snatched her away, and her whereabouts are currently unknown.
Penn State University: Nittany Lion Shrine
In 1966, the year Joe Paterno became head coach of the Penn State football team, his wife Sue painted the lion orange to incite unity and excitement for the homecoming game against Syracuse. Since then, students and fans participate in an annual Guard the Lion Shrine.
Lehigh University: Asa Packer
joseph a/Flickr
This statue of the school's founder was brought to Lehigh in 2005. It is a true-to-life representation of Packer, down to the cane he walked with, which was made out of a deer vertebrae.
Rice University: Willy
This statue of William Marsh Rice is a large part of student life (and decoration)/ But his real claim to fame was back in 1988 when a group of students managed to rotate the 2,000 pound statue 180 degrees. It took the students one hour and $400 to rotate him. It took professionals three hours and at least $1,500 to rotate him back.
Support HuffPost

Popular in the Community