The ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) tower, used for climbing and rappelling, is hard to miss, standing 45 feet high near the tennis courts and rugby field. What’s harder to spot is the obstacle course that sits to the east of the tower.
Called the Leadership Reaction Course, the course is used by the ROTC but also is available for varsity sports, summer camps and community organizations. If you’d like to use the course or the tower, contact the Military Science Department.
5. Gum tree
Ever noticed how one of the trees next to the sidewalk near Missouri Hall is covered with old pieces of gum? Chances are you’ve walked past it without even noticing— or if you did notice, you probably just thought it was gross. Little did you know the Gum Tree actually is a time-honored Truman tradition.
Legend has it that during the 1920s, when students were not allowed to chew gum in class, they would stick their used gum inside a hollow suit of armor— affectionately named Oscar— in Pickler Memorial Library. During later years, students opted to stick their gum on a tree on The Quad, claiming it brought them good luck on their exams. The “Original” Gum Tree was cut down by vandals during October 1999, but within days gum started showing up on a new tree. The second Gum Tree also met its demise during 2013 as it was cut down after dying in a drought the year before.
Students have appointed the current, “Third” Gum Tree, which is unlikely to be the last! You might as well add your wad of gum to the tree the next time you see it. After all, everyone’s doing it!
Are there any other obscure locations on campus that deserve a shoutout? Let us know on social media with the hashtag #hiddenatTruman!