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Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - OU legends abound at Midnight Walk to Meadow Brook Hall
By Rachel J Montgomery, contributing writer


In the nearly fifty years since the charter class graduated from Oakland University, the campus community has amassed numerous traditions, stories, and even hauntings. 

This summer, incoming Oakland students were able to learn about the legends firsthand at the OU Midnight Walk to Meadow Brook Hall. During the First-Year Orientation Part One overnight session, new students visited campus, met with academic advisors and took the "Legends, Myths, and Tales Tour.” 

Alumni volunteers acted as tour guides and shared their personal take on university myths. 

“A few times during my OU career I played tennis at the Meadow Brook courts,” recounted tour guide Mark LeMerise. “Since I played in the evening, I'd usually be walking back during dusk or even in the dark, and I swear that every time I passed Knoll Cottage, something would happen. A light would flicker in the window, a branch would fall, or the wind would cause the wood to creak, kicking me into a dead sprint out of the woods. Thankfully, there were no ghosts this time around on the tour!”

Students who attended the tour had the opportunity to learn about the history of the campus as well as getting to know their way around OU; while alumni could relive the times they spent here. “One of my fondest OU memories was a spontaneous Midnight Walk I did with the International Village when I lived in the student apartments,” said LeMerise. “About 15 of us went just because it's what you do to start off a good year at OU.”

“The exciting thing about this year is that nearly all of the students went on the walk,” said Nicholas Hooper, a graduate assistant for OU Housing. “The size of the overnight visits for orientation has actually been declining while students choosing to live in Housing have increased. With this smaller group of students from previous, it was encouraging to see the excitement and intrigue while they were out on the tour.”

Some of the sites visited were John Dodge House, O’Dowd Hall, and Bear Lake, known affectionately as “Beer Lake.” Stories on the tour included hauntings at Meadow Brook and John Dodge House, tales of O’Dowd Hall when it was newly constructed, and pranks involving Bear Lake. 
 
“OU has few established but strong traditions,” said LeMerise. “The Midnight Walk is something that is truly OU. You may go your entire college career and never set eyes on Meadowbrook Hall again, but just to see it once, along with your peers, while socializing with upper classmen and alumni, is really a unique experience.”

Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 260 degree and certificate programs. To learn more about academics, achievements, and events at OU, visit the news site at oakland.edu/newsatou and follow the news team on Twitter at @OaklandU_News.