My college campus has a magic statue. It’s a longstanding tradition for students to rub its nose for good luck. My freshman roommate really believed in the statue’s power and insisted on visiting it to rub its nose before every exam. Studying might have been a better idea, she flunked out her sophomore year. The fact is, we all have little superstitious things we do. If it’s not believing in magic statues, it’s avoiding sidewalk cracks or always putting our left shoe on first. Knock on wood. Step on a crack, break your mothers back. The last thing we want to do is offend the gods. ~ Meredith Grey, MD
This is a clue that Meredith went to Dartmouth, where students rub the nose of the statue of Warner Bentley in the Hopkins Center for the Arts for good luck. The Warner Bentley statue is the replacement of an older tradition in which students rubbed the nose of a bust of Craven Laylock, an 1896 Dartmouth graduate (which is located at the Baker Memorial Library on the Dartmouth campus).
Although this practice sounds odd, it turns out that rubbing bronze body parts is a common practice in the Ivy League. Brown students rub the nose of Secretary of State John Hay. Harvardians pat the toes of Ralph Waldo Emerson in Sever Hall. Harvard magazine recently published an article stating that the shoe of another statue, John Harvard, has been damaged by “thousands of visitors a year who rub it for luck.”
So I was just flipping through the Monsters University concept art, and one of the images just completely reminded me of Dartmouth College, where I went to school. I compared a couple pictures side by side, and you have to admit there’s a pretty strong resemblance. Coincidence?
The middle doors don’t open!
Bird’s eye view of Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH