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Tour Guide Series Part 5: Random Hamilton Myths, Traditions and Superstitions

April 22, 2012   

In the middle of our campus, we have a circular iron map welded to the walkway. One of Hamilton’s superstitions is to never step on that map!!! The myth is that if you step on that map as a current student, you will not graduate in four years. Even when I walk backward as a tour guide, I make a mental note to avoid the map - hahaha.

I am sure many of you also know that when Hamilton was chartered in 1812, it was an all men’s college. This was true until 1978 when Hamilton merged with Kirkland College, an all women’s college that began in 1968.

One of the funniest questions I ever got on a tour was whether women lived on one side of campus and men lived on the other! That’s not the case at all, men and women live together and all over the place.  

Kirkland was built where apple orchards had once been, and the fruit was a symbol for the college. As a tradition, all female graduates receive an apple pin at commencement.

Another tradition is that every graduate gets a cane! In addition to a diploma, students receive a cane inscribed with their class year. How awesome, right? Hahah. Alexander Hamilton had a cane, and it is even included in the statute of him on campus.

I have mixed feelings about getting my cane. Sure it’s going to be awesome to have a cane, but it means I will have graduated.