There exists at Wabash College an archway that no dares pass under. The myth comes to Wabash students in the form of a story of a past Wabash student hanging himself from the archway after failing his comprehensive exams. It is said that if a student walks through the arch, that said student will fail his comprehensive exams at the end of his four years of study. Students that give no credence to superstition have been seen walking through the archway, these students are given warning, heckled, and looked at as odd. Many students refuse to walk through the arch not because of superstition, but out respect for college traditions.
The archway can be seen as a symbol of a fear that, to some degree, exists in every Wabash student. It stands as a constant reminder that hard work is not enough; that one must truly learn and understand his education here in order to earn that Latin scripted sheet of vellum that is Wabash’s diploma. But one can look at it another way: one can see it as a symbol of the College itself. It’s supposed desire to “devour” students, a manifestation of the college wanting students to fail. The archway can be seen as something dark, like the sad depressing story of the student who committed suicide upon it.