Marist: Myth or Fact?

Like any college, Marist has its own campus legends. Here is your rundown of Marist lore passed down from generation to generation of Red Foxes. Are these the real deal? Or simply Marist Myths?

The Lost Gartland Amusement Park


When my Philosophy professor told me that Marist students used to spend their breaks on a nearby roller coaster, I 100% believed he was pranking me. But, with a little research, I learned that this Marist Myth is actually a fact! The Woodcliff Pleasure Park was a popular amusement park that occupied the northernmost part of campus, which we now know as Gartland. Operating from 1927-1941, the park featured bumper cars, pony rides, a Ferris wheel, a tunnel of love, and scenic trips along the Husdon River. The star of the park was the rollercoaster, the Blue Streak, which at the time held the record for the fastest and tallest roller coaster. Talk about your highs and lows of college!

Mysterious M

If you walk around Poughkeepsie for a day, you’re sure to see more M’s than you can count– Marist pride can be spotted all over the city. Perhaps the most prominent and perplexing instance of the random M is the huge, faint outline seen on the rocks on the other side of the Hudson. When I first saw it, I wondered if it was real, or if I just had Marist on the mind. After some research, I learned that this giant M is not just a product of my overactive imagination! The art dates back to the 1970 crew team, who was looking to mark Marist territory. One night, they maneuvered down the cliffs with the power of friendship (and probably, like, rope and stuff), and painted the magnificent M for all to see. While we no longer touch it up out of respect for the environment, it’s a Marist crew legacy that will last as long as the Hudson.

Secret City

Marist’s beautiful campus is perhaps the best part of living here. However, Marist students aren’t the only ones who enjoy the view. During the nice weather of autumn and spring, our favorite furry friends pop out to say “hi.” Families of groundhogs can be seen soaking up the sun, enjoying a tasty dandelion, or taking a stroll down the campus green. Who knew Red Foxes and groundhogs could live in harmony? However, this begs the question– where do they go when they retreat back into their cozy little homes? We suspect that the society of groundhogs have created a thriving underground city. They live there in the cold winter months, thriving off generous carrot donations by Marist students and stolen burritos from the Cab. Don’t disturb them, or we’ll earn six more weeks of winter!

BTW, don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of the legendary secret city– it’s really underground.


Greystone Lights

October 31, 2018 – Fall Sunrise at Marist College. Photo by Carlo de Jesus/Marist College
via Pinterest

For years, students have reported that during late night strolls across campus, strange flickering can be seen on the top floor of Greystone. Yet, in the small hours of the morning, they mysteriously stop. Perhaps Murray just wanted a midnight snack– or perhaps something else is hungry. Our more superstitious students swear that a ghost walks the halls of Greystone. Is the President working extra hours, or are there other powers at play? While I wait for Buzzfeed Unsolved to get back to me, keep an eye out for the mysterious Greystone lights.

Sealing Your Fate

The Rotunda is a Marist staple. Home to the Bookstore, Admissions, Housing, and Meet & Greets, you’ll find yourself in the Rotunda countless times during your stay at Marist. However, there is one big obstacle. In the very center of this busy building is the Marist seal (just in case you forgot where you were.) Though all Rotunda facilities reside on the other side of the seal, any student who steps foot on the icon is fated to not graduate on time. If you ever need easy entertainment, head over and watch as every student carefully picks their way across the floor, lest they be doomed. You may argue that stepping on the seal would have no effect on your graduation prospects. I ask you this– would you really chance it?

October 31, 2018 – Fall Sunrise at Marist College. Photo by Carlo de Jesus/Marist College

About Marist

Located on the banks of the historic Hudson River and at its Florence, Italy branch campus, Marist College is a comprehensive, independent institution grounded in the liberal arts. Marist is consistently recognized for excellence by The Princeton Review (Colleges That Create Futures and The Best 384 Colleges), U.S. News & World Report (8th Best Regional University/North), Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (“Best College Values”), and others. Marist educates approximately 5,000 traditional-age undergraduate students and 1,400 adult and graduate students in 47 undergraduate majors and numerous graduate programs, including fully online MBA, MPA, MS, and MA degrees.

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