Indiana Daily Student

Learn about some of IU’s campus lore and traditions

<p>A statue of Herman B Wells faces the Rose Well House. Both famous landmarks are credited to bring good luck to those who take part in the lore surrounding the monuments.</p>

A statue of Herman B Wells faces the Rose Well House. Both famous landmarks are credited to bring good luck to those who take part in the lore surrounding the monuments.

Rose Well House  

Located just outside of Dunn Woods, the Rose Well House has become a hotspot on campus since it was built over a century ago. After its completion in 1908, the Rose Well House quickly became a romantic meet-up location, with a tradition of couples kissing in the house at the stroke of midnight. 

Today, the legend goes that any couple who kisses in the Rose Well House at the stroke of midnight will be romantic partners for life. The spot also continues to be a popular place for marriage proposals and even weddings. 

 Statues 

All around campus, you can see statues celebrating the lives of IU icons and legends alike. In front of Franklin Hall sits the Ernie Pyle statue, a memoriam for an IU alumnus, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and war correspondent. Tucked between the IU Auditorium and the Radio-Television Building, the statue of jazz musician Hoagy Carmichael plays the piano. 

The most notable statue may be the one depicting Herman B Wells. Wells was the 11th president of IU and the university’s first chancellor. After his retirement as IU president in 1962, the IU Board of Trustees created a new position of university chancellor specifically for Wells.  

The statue sits with his hand outstretched, welcoming people to shake his hand. An IU tradition suggests that shaking the statue's hand will bring you good luck.  

 Showalter Fountain 

Showalter Fountain, located in the center of the Fine Arts Square, depicts the “Birth of Venus” with five fish surrounding the sculpture of the Roman goddess. As of today, only four of the five fish are from the original fountain. 

One of the fish is a remake, replacing the one stolen after the 1987 basketball championship — the last year IU men’s basketball won a national title. IU legend suggests the original fish will be returned to the fountain the next time IU wins a banner, but another idea says IU won’t win another banner until that fish is returned. 

Along with the legend, Showalter Fountain is also a hotspot for campus tradition. Before graduating IU, students should jump in and swim in the fountain at least once. 

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