Steven McDermott, senior music education major, walks around the arch yesterday between Beach Hall and King Hall. There is a tradition on campus for students to avoid walking under the arch or else they will not graduate on time.


At Emporia State, Hornets have a plethora of traditions to tell. One of the most popular is the arch between Beach Music and King Hall.

The arch was built in the spring of 2002 by Richard Harrison, an artist, with the help of ESU students.  

Students attending ESU should avoid walking under the arch. According to the ESU website, students who pass through it won’t graduate in four years. 

Silent Joe has been a long-standing tradition at ESU as well, since 1939 when on Feb. 15 the bell tower known as Old Joe was completed. 

Its name was changed to Silent Joe after the 1939 football team lost the first two games of their season. 

The bell, which is now rung to announce a hornet win, was also rung to denote the victory in World War II, according to

This bell was also used to call students to their classes, according to The base of this tower is enclosed in a cement base about eight feet deep to protect it from seepage from Wooster Lake. 

While not a strictly ESU tradition, Bird Bridge is a popular place for students to visit.

Bird Bridge is named after an event that happened in the 80s. There is a movie about this story that tells a minister had an affair with one of his secretaries and together they planned to kill each other’s spouse. 

The Bird Bridge story began when Sandy Bird, the minister’s wife, was found beneath Rocky Ford Bridge. The death was ruled an automobile accident.

Then, four months later, Martin Anderson, the husband of the secretary, was killed. The secretary felt ill, so she stopped the car and got out, when she lost her keys. While her and her husband searched, Anderson was shot by a masked attacker, according to what she told investigators.

The authorities concluded that these coincidental deaths correlate enough that they do not seem to be accidents, according to

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the location where Martin Anderson was found and the circumstances surrounding his death.

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