Stout has many interesting and little known facts on campus. Last week, I went on a special Stout Secrets Tour hosted for Homecoming Week. For those of you who weren’t able to make it, I will share some of the things I found interesting about our campus.
Memorial Student Center
Our first stop on the tour was the Memorial Student Center. Turns out the designers who renovated the building were quite clever, if you look closer at the main entrance by the amphitheater, you will notice that the blue part of the doorway is in the shape of a large ‘S!’
Clock Tower Bell
Nearby the MSC is the large bell monument. The bell is the old clock tower bell from Bowman Hall. The bell was taken out of the tower after it cracked and would no longer ring. Turns out, they used to let students up into the tower and they could ring the bell, but it was too good to last. Eventually, a hapless student managed to ring the old bell the wrong way and cracked it.
Speaking of Bowman, you may have noticed the large brick pillars between Bowman and Millennium Hall. Those pillars are all that are left of the old Stout construction building. This building used to be used by construction students. They would build houses inside the building and, when finished, would drive them out and into Menomonie to be used by new residents.
Iron and Wood Sculpture
Across from Bowman hall is an interesting piece of art. Every day on my way to my speech class in Harvey Hall, I would see the odd Iron and Wood sculpture near Comm Tech. Turns out, and it makes a lot of sense in hindsight, that the sculpture was designed to look like the lense of a camera!
Finally, we stopped by Comm Tech and Fryklund Hall and talked about the old Gymnasium/Natatorium, the precursor to the Johnson Fieldhouse. The Natatorium was actually the first building on campus to feature running water showers, even before the dorms! However, as cool as the Natatorium was, the highlight of this last stop was the nearby gravel garden. The garden features real Wisconsin cacti! A heating pad underneath the gravel helps keep the cacti alive and it turns out this particular type of cactus can live as far north as Ontario.
Hope you learned something about the secrets of Stout, I certainly did! The Stouts Secrets Tour should be making a return next year at homecoming so be sure to check it out them!