When students, faculty and staff think of Murray State’s rankings, they may think of the U.S. News and World Report or men’s basketball.
However, in a recent ranking by collegeranker.com, Murray State has been recognized for having the third most romantic college tradition in the nation: the Shoe Tree.
Rooted outside of Wilson Hall and Pogue Library, the Shoe Tree has become a symbol of love and tradition on campus and people have noticed. Adorned with old sneakers, flip flops and cowboy boots, the Shoe Tree has had its misfortunes, like being struck by lightning.
According to collegeranker.com, the Shoe Tree has about 50 pairs of shoes on it with written anniversaries and is complemented by baby shoes. The tree fell third behind Indiana University’s Rose Well House and Ohio’s Miami University’s Upham Arch, respectively.
According to the site, the tradition with the Rose Well House is that it “is believed that a female student is not officially a Hoosier coed until she has been kissed beneath the dome at midnight.”
With the ranking announced just before Valentine’s Day, College Ranker’s Kevin Shull compiled the list based on historical significance and romantic appeal, as indicated by Internet reviews.
In a press release, Shull said the rankings seemed appropriate for the upcoming holiday.
“College is a place for learning first, but it’s hard to deny that it’s also a place where many people fall in love for the first time; nearly 30 percent of married college graduates met their partners on campus,” Shull said in the release. “Young love is inherently very romantic, but certain campus spots and traditions go above and beyond. Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, it only seems appropriate for us to name the 25 most romantic college traditions in America.”
President Bob Davies said the rankings were fun, as they coincided with the time of the year.
“I think the Shoe Tree is a neat tradition,” Davies said. “I think it’s those kinds of things that make universities special and unique. To have the third most romantic tradition in the United State is something to smile about.”
Story by Mary Bradley, Editor-in-Chief