Minerva is another beloved symbol at Wells College. She is the Roman Goddess of wisdom. The statue of Minerva was a gift to the College from Charles Wells in 1868 and has resided in a little nook by the front door to the Main building for many years. She was similarly placed in the old Main building before the devastating fire destroyed it in 1888. The statue of Minerva is the only thing left from the old Main building that survived the fire.
She has also been part of many practical jokes, as students from neighboring colleges have tried to kidnap her from time to time. In 1975, six boys from the neighboring Hobart and Williams Smith College were caught after they stole the adored statue. During this adventure Minerva did suffer a few damages that were repaired before she was returned to her rightful spot at her small lakefront home.
She is also part of some of the traditions at Wells, including Moving Up Day, which takes place on the last day of classes in the spring semester. During this ceremony graduating Seniors place a rose, given to them by their sister class, at her feet and kiss her big toe for good luck. Minerva is an influential part of the Wells Community and is considered by many to be a Wells Woman.
Information taken from the print and photo collection of the Wells College Archive, Louis Jefferson Long Library, Aurora, New York and Dieckmann, J. M. (1995). Wells College: a history. Aurora, NY: Wells College Press.
Shelby Talbot ’19
Tiffany Raymond ’10, Reference and Instruction Librarian