Trivia: Win a UNC Travel Mug
Tell us how Hi Bridge, pictured above, got its name to be entered into a drawing for a deluxe UNC travel mug. Send your answer by June 15 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to the winners of the last issue’s trivia contest: M. Bradley Bruchs, Jediah Cummins, Frank Hinman, Charles Mihulka and Patricia Pattison – who correctly answered that the light fixture can be found on Gray Hall, home to the Bru-Inn for many years.
Memories of Crossing Hi Bridge, Sans Beanie, with Presidential Bailout
My first experience with Hi Bridge came almost 50 years ago. As a freshman, I had the audacity to cross the bridge without wearing my beanie. In those days, you see, all freshmen were issued blue-and-gold beanies, with “CSC” (Colorado State College) on them. The beanies had to be worn for the first two weeks of school, so everyone could tell who the freshmen were and harass us.
Most of us, especially if we lived off-campus and not in a dorm, refused to wear the stupid beanies.
Without my beanie, I attempted to walk across Hi Bridge and pass as an upperclassman. “Aren’t you a freshman?” The person who stopped me was, as I recall, about 6-foot-8 and weighed at least 350 pounds. He was very mean looking and probably a heavyweight wrestler or the defensive tackle on the football team — or maybe the whole defensive line on the football team.
I knew that if they caught a freshman without a beanie, it was a college custom to throw the student off of Hi Bridge. While the bridge was only about a foot off the ground, and probably the smallest in Colorado, I realized that the Big Mean Guy could lift me over his head before throwing — making my fall off the bridge about eight to 10 feet.
“N-n-n-o-o-o,” I answered, not managing to sound very old at all. I tried to walk. Mr. Large Mean Guy and his friends blocked the bridge. “Oh yeah?” he said. “If you’re a sophomore, you should know who the president of the college is. Who is he?”
Whew. Just the day before, I stumbled onto a protest behind the president’s house. I didn’t know why they were protesting, but I remembered his name, written on the stuffed dummy that they were burning in effigy from the football goalposts.
“W-William?” I said.
“W-William?” mocked the Large Mean guy. “W-William who?” He was laughing and you knew he was getting ready to lift me over his head and toss me off the bridge.
“William Ross!” I said, sure of myself, because you don’t forget your first protest, or the first effigy you see.
Large Mean Guy backed off. “OK,” he said discouragingly. “You can go ahead.”
And that’s how William Ross, that wonderful president of Colorado State College in 1962, saved my life.
—Mike Peters (BA-68)