2 minute read

Legends and traditions

Legends and traditions you must know as an IU hoosier

By Alex Hardgrave


IDS FILE PHOTO BY ALEX DERYN A mask covers the face of the Herman B Wells statue April 20, 2020 on IU’s campus. Masks were mandated at the University during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shaking Herman B Wells’ Hand

The Herman B Wells Statue is perched on a bench near the Student Building with his hand outstretched. The tradition suggests you can gain luck or ace an exam if you shake the hand on this statue.

Chants, songs and cheers

IU has a bunch to offer in the way of sports, and if you’re going to attend, you’ll soon learn the fight song and school song (bonus points if you learn the Alma Mater, “Hail to Old IU.”). You also have to perfect your fist and blades. Whenever you yell IU, like at the end of the school song, you shoot your hands straight up above your head in an “I” with your fists closed. Then, when you yell “U,” you bring your arms into a 90 degree angle from your body. There are also chants that you’ll learn, but if you forget them, just follow along with the crowd.

Kissing at the Rose Well House

The stone gazebo sitting right outside of Dunn’s Woods was created in 1908 and is one of the oldest structures on campus. After its completion, it became a romantic meetup location because it was so close to the mens’ and womens’ dorms. The legend goes that any couple who kisses in the Rose Well House at midnight will be together forever.

The Stolen Fish

The fish in the Showalter Fountain have long been a target of student shenanigans and have gone missing or been damaged multiple times throughout history, most recently in 2010. The fountain depicts the “Birth of Venus” with five fish on the outer edge. Today, four of the fish are original. But one is a remake, replacing the fish stolen after the 1987 basketball championship — the last year IU men’s basketball won a national title. The fish was replaced with a replica in 2009, but some people still wonder: where is this missing fish? One legend goes that the last fish will be returned to the fountain the next time IU wins a banner. Another iteration is that we won’t win another banner until the fish is returned.

Swimming in Showalter Fountain

At some point during your IU journey, you have to swim in the Showalter Fountain. Bonus points if you do it on a day when it’s colder out. After that, you can make your way to the side of the Eskenazi Museum of Art and rest your feet on the wall to watch the colors change off the limestone.