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Fun and Interesting

University Traditions

Read all about University of Minnesota traditions, including why our colors are maroon and gold and why the Gopher is our mascot.

Annual Cereal Survey (Tenth Anniversary)

Each year, residence hall students are invited to vote for their favorite cereals, and the top vote getters are offered in all residence halls throughout the year.  More than 2,700 students voted, and the winners are:

  • Frosted Flakes
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  • Lucky Charms
  • Reese's Puffs
  • Apple Jacks
  • Cap N' Crunch
  • Honey Nut Cheerios
  • Life
  • Frosted Mini Wheats
  • Special K With Red Berries
  • Kashi Go Lean Crunch
  • Rice Chex (Gluten Free)

The rule is that at least some of the cereals must be "healthy" and non-sweetened.

Campus Buildings—A Geologist's View

A brief campus tour, created by the Department of Geology, includes discussion of the stonework in several campus buildings.

A Summons to Comradeship

Two of the most significant collections in the world of posters from World War I and World War II are located in Minneapolis. The University Libraries owns an impressive six thousand items. The collection contains posters from government, commercial, and charitable organizations.

Maroon and Gold Gardens

Over the past several years, parents attending Parent Orientation have commented on how beautiful the University of Minnesota looks, especially noting the flowers and ornamental plantings all around campus. Maroon and gold gardens brighten the grounds throughout the summer and linger into fall, welcoming students back to campus with a blaze of school spirit.

For those who want to put some Minnesota color in their own gardens, selecting plants to create the right blend of maroon and gold requires careful planning. Not every red or maroon plant blends well with the various yellows. Jim Blake, from the University's Landcare Operation division of Facilities Management, identifies the three maroon and gold plant combinations used in campus garden plots:

  • Red Wizard Coleus with Bonanza Gold Marigold.
  • New Look Celosia in red and yellow.
  • Crimson Barberry (a shrub), again using the Bonanza Gold Marigold.

Preserving Books Underground

The Minnesota Library Access Center (MLAC), located on the University's West Bank, supports libraries throughout Minnesota by providing efficient, climate-controlled storage for important, but infrequently used collections. Located in one of the caverns below the Elmer L. Andersen Library, MLAC provides Minnesota libraries with secure, assured access to their materials allowing libraries to use collection space in their own buildings more efficiently.

Norman Borlaug—The Peaceful Revolutionary

Norman Borlaug, Nobel Peace Prize laureate who is credited by many as saving more lives than any other scientist, received both his masters and his Ph.D. in plant pathology from the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences at the University of Minnesota.



What Students Really Want

When it comes to housing, anyone can tell you students value privacy, proximity to campus, and reasonable rents. Only a student, however, can talk about the details that are important to them when it comes to their on-campus living experience.

Housing & Residential Life has identified some student suggestions that were gathered through surveys, committee meetings, forums, and comments from University of Minnesota students.

  • Don't charge more money for a great view.
  • Supply two-ply toilet paper.
  • Don't plant those "stinky shrubs" around the halls.
  • Don't buy round tables; buy square or rectangle tables that can double as TV stands.
  • Don't buy those "two-butt" couches; buy comfortable ones.
  • Make sure you have enough dryers in the laundry.
  • Put cable outlets and ethernet everywhere.
  • Don't charge separate for cable, put it in the room rate.
  • Have common space that is open 24/7.
  • Build enough bike racks.
  • Plan for small-group workstations in computer labs.
  • Video game machines are so '80s. Stick with ping pong, foosball, and pool.

Public Art on Campus

The University has more than three dozen inventive and lasting public art pieces scattered across the University's campuses. The artworks may memorialize people and mark historic events. Or they may be expressions of social or political discourse. One of the U's first public art installations was the bronze statue of Governor John Pillsbury on the knoll in Minneapolis, which dates to the early 1900s.

The Sherlock Holmes Collections

The University of Minnesota is home to the world's largest Sherlock Holmes collection.