has returned to Emory.
pink marble, tombstone-like gravity monument, which stood for
almost four decades beside the former Physics Building prior
to being placed in storage
four years ago, has been relocated to a courtyard next to
the new Math and Science Center.
a nostalgic and memorable symbol of the old Emory, said
Ray DuVarney, associate professor and chair of physics, who
led the drive to have the monument returned to campus and is
planning a rededication ceremony, possibly during Alumni Weekend
five-foot high monument was given to Emory in 1962 by the Gravity
Research Foundation of New Hampshire, along with a $5,000
grant to the physics department. Babson College founder Roger
W. Babson, an engineer and inventor, started the Gravity Foundation
in 1948 to stimulate research into the natural law.
gravity monument was placed on the western side of the Physics
building (now part of the Callaway Memorial Center) and soon
became a quirky landmark. For nearly four decades, the monument
was a familiar part of the Quads landscape, the site of
casual meetings and practical jokes. In 1999, the monument was
placed in storage after it was deemed to conflict aesthetically
with an outdoor sculpture on loan to Emory.
staff, and students began inquiring about the monument, which
was being kept in a building at the Briarcliff Campus beside
bales of hay, old tires, and concrete saws. After an article
about the monuments removal, Defying Gravity,
ran in Emory Magazine in Autumn 2001, alumni wrote letters demanding
that it be reinstated.
frivolity, we are left with the self-important, self-congratulatory,
self-admiring folks that eventually become so tedious and burdensome,
wrote John W. Stephenson 70C. Please dont
let it get too far away. The monument could continue to be a
rendezvous place for that late-night kiss.
S. Abner 86Ox-88C, said without the gravity monument,
Emory is missing its greatest anchor. Gravity is eternal!
Emory needs its Sphinx, its perfectly provocative pink pedestal
posing its profound riddle. Emory clearly needs less seriousness
and more gravity!
the decision was made to place the gravity monument in the Math
and Science Center courtyard, Professor Emeritus Robert H. Rohrer
Sr. 39Cin whose name a marble bench was installed
beside the gravity monument in 1999requested that his
bench be relocated as well.
was right there when the gravity monument came to Emory, and
Id be delighted to have it back by my bench, said
Rohrer, who was chair of the physics department in the early
continues to baffle scientists, says DuVarney, who still dont
know much about what it is and how it works. Gravity is
an enigma thats wrapped up in time. They are intimately
connected, he says. Understanding is a never-ending
DuVarney is reassured that the gravity monument is back in its
rightful place beside the new home of the physics department,
which moved to the Math and Science Center when it opened in
the fall of 2002.
just think its appropriate for it to be here, DuVarney
says. Its something old right up against something
new. The past gives perspective to the future.M.J.L.