While UR might not have many university myths and legends like some other universities, there are a few strands of lore that do always seem to matriculate here along with the students. One such story is the one explaining why the Interfaith Chapel was built all the way across Wilson Boulevard, making it, technically speaking, off campus. The predominant myth is that when George Eastman died in 1932, he bequeathed in his will his immense fortune of $17.6 million – more than $200 million when adjusted for inflation – to UR with the one stipulation that no house of worship would ever be built on the campus.While I never wholeheartedly believed this story, I have at times wondered about the validity of this claim, or at least pondered its origins. If you take a second to think about it, though, the whole story seems pretty absurd. Can you even do that in a will and make it legally binding? I would guess that after a certain amount of time, property bequeathed to a person or institution becomes the legal property of that person or institution, including the freedoms that come with it – in this case, the ability to fund the construction of religious buildings on the campus. Yet, surprisingly, when asked about the location of the Interfaith Chapel, most students will responded with some form of “George Eastman didn’t want any religious buildings on campus.” This myth was further reinforced when, a few years ago, the administration reneged on the construction of a Hillel House to be built by Spurier Gymnasium. I asked Rabbi Rob Morais if he knew why the location of the chapel is where it is. Not surprisingly, he did. Unfortunately, the truth behind the location is not very interesting. Essentially, the chapel was placed at the end of the academic quad to serve as a visual anchor against Rush Rhees Library. Furthermore, according to Rabbi Morais, it was placed across the street because the donors wished it to be built with a view of the Genesee River. That is it.So, while this myth has been debunked and we now know the rather mundane and banal truth, there are still others left to ponder. Does former UR President Martin Anderson always need to be looking through the glass of Wilson Commons in order to see the top of the library? Or maybe I.M. Pei just liked glass.
Your River Campus bathroom horoscope
Maybe it's messy, the drains are always clogged, and it smells weird, but at the end of the day, that first-year quad bathroom raised you.
The best routine is the one you stick to
But even as we run from our past selves, we fall short once we realize the finish line is beyond years away, and our rushed pace is nothing but a one-way ticket to burnout.
Updates on alumni-funded religious centers
The seemingly obvious solution would be to expand the Chapel. However, that is not as easy as it sounds.