Any school with a history as rich as Albion College is bound to have many myths circulating about it. From the innocent “hidden shield” in the quad to the more sinister ghost nicknamed ‘P’ which haunts the Kappa Delta lodge, rumors surround us.
The Hidden Shield
A common point of contention among some students is the imprudence of the sidewalks on the quad – they are inefficient, convoluted and ultimately pointless, however, according to the Admissions Center, these sidewalks are designed this way intentionally – they are supposed to resemble the college’s shield from an overhead view. It makes sense on a rudimentary level. The curve of the bottom of the shield is the sidewalk that curves around Kresge Gymnasium, and the flat top is the single line of sidewalk that connects Vulgamore Hall, Robinson Hall and the Kellogg Center. Some students, unfortunately, are unimpressed and would prefer to be able to walk from Vulgamore to Olin Hall in one straight line.
The Kappa Delta Ghost
According to some sisters of the Kappa Delta Sorority, a spirit haunts their lodge. The house is said to be visited occasionally by an apparition simply known as ‘P.’ The ghost was apparently a sister of the sorority who was tragically killed in an automobile accident, according to Grace Martin, senior from East Tawas, Michigan, who is the historian for the sorority. Since her untimely death, ‘P’ has made her presence felt repeatedly to the girls of the lodge. Sister Kaileigh Krupp, a junior from Mason, Michigan, has seen the phantasm’s tricks firsthand.
“Some of the ceiling fell in the shape of a ‘P,’” she says. “Also, the door blows open randomly.”
Michelle Green, a sophomore from Cassopolis, Michigan, who is also a member of the sorority, tells a similar story.
“Sam [Ely] and I were hanging out in the lodge, and the letters fell from the top of the TV stand.” The supposed haunting of a Kappa Delta house is not a story that is exclusive to Albion’s Sigma Pi chapter; the ghost of the founder of the University of Maryland’s chapter, who was killed in a still-unsolved murder, is said to make infrequent appearances at their house.
Albion College President Mauri Ditzler offered his two cents, saying, “I wonder why the Kappa Delta lodge would be the only one haunted. If we assume that buildings that make noise and were, at some point, the location of a tragedy [are haunted], then it is likely that all buildings are eventually haunted if they are around long enough and are used often enough.”
Roommate Death Rewards
On the topic of grim rumors, it seems that Albion College is full of them. One in particular is very pervasive: it involves a hypothetical situation where a student’s roommate dies. One version of the myth is that the school will grant the surviving student with a 4.0 GPA for the semester; another says the student will have their tuition covered. Ditzler, however, is a little skeptical about that.
“A student’s transcript must be an accurate and honest representation of performance,” he says. “It would be dishonest for the College to claim that a student excelled in a course or series of courses if that was not the case. As much as we might want to be sympathetic, that sympathy would not extend so far as to compromise institutional integrity.”
Students seem to love telling myths about receiving a full ride to Albion; whether that fact is the passing down of legend or hopeful thinking is still up for debate. Another popular rumor says that if Campus Safety inadvertently hits a student with their vehicle, then the student receives their tuition paid for them.
“No, sorry,” said Ditzler. “No full rides if your car is hit by Campus Safety. It would be cheaper to buy you a new car, but I doubt if we would do that either. However, you can get a free ride – but not full ride – from Campus Safety to about anywhere you want to go, even if they don’t hit your car.”
Whether or not you choose to believe them, one thing is certain: these myths help to keep the culture surrounding Albion College interesting for all. Ditzler even mentioned a myth he himself once heard.
“I have heard it said that if one studies hard, does all the homework, participates in class, offers some good ideas, ties the material of one course to another, writes thoughtful papers and stops in during office hours, you will end up with a 4.0. Don’t know for sure if that is true or a myth, but worth a try.”
Photo by Emily Miller