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5 UF Myths and Legends

Whether you’re a first-semester freshman, a super senior, or a long-time alum, you’ve probably heard a few tall tales about UF’s campus and history. Her Campus UFL has the explanations of some of the most debated Gator myths and legends that have been passed down for decades:

1. The ever-changing paint on Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s lion statue represents the color of a virgin’s underwear. If you’ve ever taken a mid-afternoon stroll down Fraternity Row, you may have noticed some brothers outside the SAE house hard at work with a paintbrush in hand. Last week’s neon green polka-dotted lion is now dusted in a glittery gold coat and donning fuchsia hearts. While the canvas occasionally reflects patriotic pride on national holidays or support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the lion is supposedly painted to resemble what a virgin’s undergarments looked like when she was deflowered.  

2. Speaking of virgins, UF apparently doesn’t have any, according to the university’s most notable landmark. It is said that each time a virgin graduates, a brick falls off Century Tower, which was built in 1953 in honor of the school’s 100th anniversary and to commemorate students killed in World Wars I and II. For a nearly 60-year-old tower with weighty historical significance, this is one myth almost no one believes, but there is one undeniable fact: The tower still stands tall with each brick perfectly in place.

3. Thomas Hall is haunted. Thomas Hall, named for its founder in 1906, may have an unwelcomed resident. More than a century ago, an obnoxiously noisy campus cook nicknamed “Old Steve” was said to have caused ruckus by banging pots and pans and yelling at the kitchen crew. Now, when the steam heating system is turned on in the Fall, some say “Old Steve” still curses up a storm around cackling fires. Perhaps the hall’s lack of air conditioning isn’t the only thing that keeps students from sleeping.

4. Music hit “American Girl” was inspired by a dormitory suicide. “Well it was kind of cold that night, she stood alone on her balcony,” songwriter and Gainesville native Tom Petty sang. Although suggestive lyrics of the 1976 song allude to an alleged incident in Beaty Towers with a heartbroken pregnant girl, several sources have confirmed the tune didn’t directly relate. Suicides are not common at UF, but there have been tragic instances where they have happened on campus like Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and North Hall. Another lesser-known rumor with even lesser-known origins says if a student happens to walk onto the scene of the crime, the school will give him or her straight A’s for the semester. 

5. Norman Hall is haunted. Built in 1932, the College of Education facility, originally known as P.K. Yonge Laboratory, Norman Hall has a reputation — and not for its Gothic structure or recognition on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It has been reported that spirits of children, of whom a hearsay claims were killed in an elevator accident, can be heard laughing or seen gallivanting about on the third floor. Other eerie encounters include orb sightings and unexplainable doors slamming. If you thought grades were the scariest things that could be found in Norman Hall, maybe you should think again.


What do you think about these ideas, collegiettes™? Could they be true, or are they totally bogus? Let us know in the comments below.  


Photo Credits:www.totalfratmove.comwww.uff.ufl.eduwww.ppd.ufl.edu

Marisa Ross is a proud Gator alumna from the University of Florida's College of Journalism, where she had the privilege of working with the UFL chapter of Her Campus as a writer, blogger, and editor. Shortly after graduating in 2015, she spent some time abroad teaching English in Madrid, Spain, and voluteering with the press team for the Rio 2016 Olympics. Currently, Marisa resides in South Florida and is thrilled to be a part of Her Campus yet again, this time as the Branded Content Specialist for Integrating Marketing with the national team. In her free time, she stays active by training for races, playing volleyball, and doing anything outdoors or on the water. And if she's not daydreaming about her next travel itinerary, she's probably embarking on a cultural adventure to explore new cities, cuisines, and activities.
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