UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Who left these apples? Meg Horton knows – and she’s telling

Photo of student's apples at Minerva statueIt started with an email from Meg Horton at Grogan Residential College. The longtime biology lecturer saw her own fruit and money on the web.

She was talking about a picture in UNCG Campus Weekly showing a row of apples left at the Minerva Statue the first day of fall classes. One or two of them had coins pushed into the apples, a new twist on the tradition that’s supposed to bring good fortune.

Now, I’d heard about offerings at the statue since Michelle Hines told me in 2007 she saw a coin there. I took pictures of it. The first apple I noticed was in December 2010. Since that time I’ve seen notes, flowers, various fruits. During one point the middle of this fall semester, I tweeted 30 apples at Minerva.

But I’d never actually seen a student leave an offering.

So, who did it? “Those apples and coins were left by Grogan College students in the Science & Medical Careers learning community,” her message said. “They were honoring the UNCG tradition but they know that you cannot wait until finals to start caring about your grades!”

Horton leads that learning community, one of 12 at Grogan, where she’s a senior fellow. At their first class meeting in August, they talked about their “bucket list.” For the students, it revolved around good grades and their future careers. She and the class talked about doing all you can to ensure success, about their expectations for themselves, how challenging their academic tracks would be.

She told them about item #34 on the UNCG Bucket List – a tradition had developed of leaving offerings at the Minerva statue at exam time, for good luck. She pulled out the recent UNCG Magazine that had that list compiled by Lanita Withers Goins.

Horton happened to have a bag of apples left over from a Grogan event. Some loose change was in her drawer. When class dismissed, some stayed after class to get Horton’s help with scheduling, advice, etc. – and nearly a dozen of the students decided to tromp through the rain, their sights on the Minerva statue. And they all took part in the relatively new campus “good luck” tradition. They all have big dreams about making a difference in this world, and they wanted their year to be a success.

In the next two weeks, you’ll meet these students. You’ll find out how their year is going, their hardest classes, some of their favorite things about UNCG so far – and what they plan to become.

And you’ll hear more about their memorable first day as Spartans.

“For these pre-med, pre-dental and pre-vet students,” Horton said, “the first day of their first college classes was the right time to leave offerings for Minerva.”

Stay tuned. You’ll be hearing from these students in the weeks ahead (and for decades to come).

By Mike Harris. Visual: a detail from CW’s August 2013 photograph.