Many colleges and universities have their own local urban legends. One of the most common is that when anyone manages to graduate without ever having had sex, something unlikely will happen.

At the University of Florida, when a virgin graduates, a brick will fall from Century Tower. It still has all its bricks, which is received as ironclad evidence that everyone gets laid. (Not true -- I was living proof). Wiseguys sometimes walk by the tower wearing hard hats, and every few years someone brings a brick on stage during the graduation ceremony.

At other schools, sitting statues stand up or leave the campus in disgust. (I'd appreciate hearing about equivalent traditions at other schools).

Wells College is located right on Cayuga Lake. The tradition goes that if the surface of the lake freezes then all of the (450) students are virgins. The last time this happened was in 1976, which I find difficult to imagine. It's unlikely that the lake will be freezing any time soon if this tradition is actually true.

Michigan State University has a similar tradition, but it's not exactly about what would happen if a virgin graduated.

On our campus, we have a tower with a carillon, Beaumont tower. It's a fairly standard sort of structure, and, from the top down, is pretty squarish. At the top, on each corner, there is a spire. For whatever reason, one of these is taller than the others.

The legend is that that spire commemorates the lone virgin to ever graduate from MSU.

Unlikely, but not as far-fetched as it originally seems. When I looked the tower up to make sure I spelled "carillon" right, I found a quote from the President of MSU at the time the tower was constructed. The President, Robert S. Shaw, said that he expected the tower to become "a meeting or trysting place of the students..."

I don't know what "trysting" meant in the 20s, but I would like to think this is very clearly an imperative passed down through time by the University's president, admonishing students to get laid at the tower.

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