August 2013Even though the North Mall is UD's showpiece, the South Mall is hands down my favorite part of campus -- probably because it's the longest uninterrupted stretch, as there are no streets cutting through it (like how Delaware Ave cuts through the North Mall). We're gonna define the South Mall as from the south side of Memorial, right down to Laurel Hall, MINUS the piece directly in front of the Morris Library steps, which we already talked about.
Lammot du Pont Laboratory we’ll include as well, even though it’s sort of tucked away on the east side of Memorial. Lammot du Pont opened in 1993, while I was at UD. And get this: You know those big name signs outside of each academic building on campus? The original sign outside of Lammot du Pont said “Lamott du Pont” -- that’s right, they misspelled the first name! Another “m” had to be quickly ordered, and the sign was corrected. (Have no idea what became of the extra “t.”) You think someone got canned over this fuck-up?
The plot of grass from the south side of Memorial Hall to the Morris Library has evolved quite a bit since 1999. Well, first let’s talk about the bricks in front of the southern entrance to Memorial: back in my day, it was a circular sort of flat cobblestone thing. Gray brickwork. That was changed to the signature Delaware red bricks, with of course a gray interlocking “UD” worked into it.
Now, here's the thing: before they re-did this piece of campus circa '99, the plot from Memorial to the library was framed by bushes, making it difficult to walk on the grass there...so no one did! I barely remember anyone laying out there, or throwing a Frisbee around.
But UD really wanted to open that piece up, so the bushes were removed, and the grass was lined with the trees that are there right now. However, it created a new problem: people were cutting diagonally across the newly accessible grass, and a dirt path began to emerge. Yes newer UD kids, THAT was the impetus for the diagonal brick walkway there. Which you probably have never thought about it NOT being there. They just bricked over where students were cutting across the grass, as there was no stopping it. Oh, and the unfortunate side-effect of all of this was the then removal of the Library Octagon; the new diagonal walkway I guess ran awkwardly too close to it, so the Octagon had to go.
September, 2001. Though the tone of this site is the light, fun times at UD, I can’t not mention when the Delaware kids pulled together in 2001, following the September 11th attacks. Over 4000 messages comprised the Ribbon Garden on the piece of the South Mall as described above. And even though this was in response to a national tragedy, many of you have indicated that the Ribbon Garden is a fond UD memory…which to me, falls right into nostalgia.
Magnolia Circle / Fountain. If there was ever a piece of the UD campus that has been landscaped and re-landscaped, tweaked and re-tweaked, this is it. I think it’s gone through at least four redesigns since the late '80s, possibly more. It's like they couldn’t agree on a plan. Different permutations of trees, bushes, benches, etc. Well, it seems like it was finally settled in 2005, when they installed a fountain with surrounding benches…and I must say, it’s real nice. However, casualties of the fountain installation were the actual magnolia trees. New magnolias were planted, hopefully they’ll grow fast; those trees blossoming were a great indicator of spring’s arrival, right?
Laurel Hall. The Student Health Center, though I’ve heard many refer to it as the Student Death Center. Fortunately I only ventured there once for the classic “flu pack,” but let’s just say the place doesn’t have the best reputation in diagnosing more serious health issues. Well, sitting on top of Laurel is that Blue Hen weather vane, and the little park in front was redone a bit in the Fall of '98.
“The squirrels at UD are fearless. I remember waiting for someone outside of Cannon, and watching one walk up to a ladies’ purse, dig through it, and come out with what looked like a mint.”
- Greg M, UD '07
“I was an RA for a summer program at UD, and it started to storm pretty bad. It wasn't a thunderstorm, but it was raining its butt off. All the students had gone to bed and my other two coworkers and I were sitting in the lounge listening to it rain. I decided I wanted to go outside and play since it'd been so hot recently, and it was stifling in the dorms. So my friend and I went out and started running around, but then the rain let up and it wasn't as exciting. That's when I noticed the fountain. I dared him to jump in and he said if I did, he would. So we climbed in clothes and all. After a second or two it lost its glory, but it was fun.”
- Erin, UD '07
“I had to go pick up my roommate at the infirmary, because a cow slammed his head into a gate at the farm on 896. He was okay, but he was bummed because Skidfest was the next day and he had to refrain.”
- Keith W, UD '98
(Digger’s Note: I might as well include this here, even though it pertains not to South Central, but to the farm on 896: As I remember it, they had -- or still have -- a cow, with basically this big rubberized plug thing in its side. Yes, drilled into the cow. I believe it was to study the cow's digestive system. Anyway, have no idea if the above involves same said cow!)
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