Campus Cornerstones

While OU’s “look” may not be as renowned or as defined as, say, Harvard’s ivy, it certainly has its fair share of tradition. Here’s the rundown on five of OU’s most integral pieces of campus lore:

  1. Centennial Arches: A gift from the class of 1990, these twin arches act as gatekeepers to the South Oval. However, inside one of the arches is a time capsule, set to be opened in 2090. The capsule contains a 1990 yearbook, sports almanac, letter from then-President Van Horn–who knows what else?
  2. Sphinx: Carved by Columbian artist Fernando Botero, “Sphinx” ended up at OU’s campus via the will of a wealthy benefactor. She’s watched over students on Elm street–her expression unreadable–for almost a decade and a half.
  3. Pastoral Dreamer: OU grad David Phelps sculpted “Pastoral Dreamer” in a style that forces onlookers to utilize their imaginations to complete the image. What’s the dreamer thinking about? Perhaps Phelps is asking us to draw our own conclusions.
  4. The Spoonholder: The Spoonholder was constructed by the senior class of 1910 and has been a campus mainstay ever since. It gained notoriety in the ’50s due to the famous superstition: Any couple who shares a kiss while sitting in The Spoonholder is destined to get married.
  5. Seed Sower: Perhaps the most iconic of all the campus landmarks, the Seed Sower stands resolute at the far end of the South Oval. The statue is a likeness of OU’s first president, David Ross Boyd. Boyd famously partitioned half of his personal salary to buy, plant and water the trees on campus and, like its lookalike, the Seed Sower can be seen planting the seeds of knowledge and wisdom which can be reaped in time.

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