Purdue Fountains Are More Than Just For The Eyes

Purdue Fountains Are More Than Just For The Eyes

It's more than just a tradition to run through the foutians.
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To the average person, all the fountain on Purdue’s campus just looks like decoration. I remember touring as a high school senior and honestly not paying any attention to them The thought of playing in them never crossed my mind because of 1. This is college and who has time for that and 2. Isn’t that illegal…..?

Well to any Purdue student past and present, you know this is the complete opposite. Who would have thought that running around a college campus soaking wet, playing in fountains would be completely acceptable? No one even bats an eye when a soaking wet group of people goes running across the memorial mall.

Fountain runs are one of the first traditions you take part in when you come to Purdue. Boiler gold rush takes you on a fountain run your first week of being at Purdue.

Fountain runs are not only enjoyed by students but also by alumni and young children. On a hot day, you can often find people bringing their children by the fountains to cool off. If you're lucky you might even convince your professor to go on one with you!

Fountain runs began in 1986. Everyone has a different take on the fountain run. Many start at the engineering fountain head to the lion's heads than to the memorial fountain and end at the Loeb fountain. Many students continue on to the Discovery park fountain. Some Boilers even reverse the cycle and go backward to finish. You can even stop off at Skinninger pond but the bell tower. No matter how you fountain run it will be a fun experience.

The fountains of Purdue:

Loeb Fountain:

At this stop on your fountain run, you are to run all the way around the circle.

This fountain is a backward fountain. It is located outside of the Beering building. The Loeb fountain was originally placed outside of Hovde hall in 1959. The original fountain had a reservoir surrounding, but when it was moved the decision to take the reservoir out was made. The fountain was removed and placed in storage from 1988 until 1993 when it was placed in its location it sits today.

The fountain is open 7 am – 7 pm each day. The fountain is turned on in April of Grand Prix and closed in October following homecoming.

Engineering Fountain:

At this stop on the fountain run, you run through one section to the other side. Don’t forget to slide down one of the sculptures.

This fountain is actually named the class of 1939 water sculpture fountain. The engineering fountain originally shot water out of the ground. But due to the brutal force of the water changes needed to be made. In 2001 the decision was made for the water to shoot out of a 10-foot metal cylinder in the middle. This allowed students to run through with more ease. The fountain pumps 588 gallons of water per minute. The fountain also has a set of glowing lights that circulate through colors even when the water is off.

The fountain is open 7 am – 7 pm each day. The fountain is turned on in April of Grand Prix and closed in October following homecoming.

Lions Head:

At this stop on the fountain run, you drink out of all 4 lions head. Don’t be scared of the penny like flavor. that’s normal.

It is said that drinking out of all 4 sides of this fountain before a test is a good luck. This fountain was a gift from the class of 1904. Sometime between 1923 and 1931, the fountain was turned off. No records have come up as to why. The reamer club is very fond of this fountain as a Purdue landmark. The reamer club takes very good care of this fountain and beginning in 1998 took on the project of turning the fountain back on. The reamer club raised 48,000$ to restart the water fountain. In March 2000 the renovations began to turn the fountain back on. In April of 2001, the fountain was then turned back on as a drinking fountain and provides fresh water.

The lion heads also play a fun roll in another Purdue “rule”. If a couple kisses under the bell tower and then walks by the Lions head fountain they will get married. Now before you go kissing your significant other under the bell tower remember if you walk under the bell tower you won't graduate in 4 years so make sure to graduate before you kiss your lover under it and take the magic walk by the lions.

This fountain is open in late March/ early April and stays on until late October/ early November. This fountain is open 7 days a week.

John Purdue Memorial Fountain:

This stop on the fountain run you get into the waist-deep pool and walk all the way around. It's completely normal if you can’t see your feet.

Near this fountain, you can find a statue of John Purdue and John Purdue’s grave. Yes, he is buried on campus! This was donated by the class of 1894. At one point this fountain was stocked with all kinds of fish. The department of animal sciences kept it stocked with many different kinds of fish like bluegill and crappy.

This fountain is open in late March/ early April and stays on until late October/ early November. This fountain is open 7 days a week.

Discovery Park Fountain:

At this stop on the fountain run, you are to play in the fountain.

Discovery park began being built in 2001 and was completed in 2004. This was over a 1 billion dollar project. In Discovery park you can find a beautiful, color changing fountain near a staircase. The fountain has an image on the back of it. It's almost like glass. The images on this fountain include the bell tower, an astronaut, and many other things. This is the fountain that is often forgotten about so don’t forget to stop by and plan in it.

The fountain is open 7 am – 7 pm each day. The fountain is turned on in April of Grand Prix and closed in October following homecoming.

If you are ever looking for a fun thing to do on a warm/ hot day with your friends, go on this adventure. Go on as many fountains runs as you can! Take lots of pictures and save them. Someday down the road, you won’t be able to just walk through 5 beautiful fountains to cool off. A fountain run is a unique tradition to Purdue that you will not want to miss out on!

Cover Image Credit: Kendall Gatewood

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