Contemporary Legend – University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

When they were building Student Union back in the early 1900’s or whenever it was that it was being built, the architect had a certain way he wanted it to be built. He wanted the main entrance to open up towards Tommy Trojan, but the president at the time wanted a convenient entrance that he could park his car in front of, so he demanded that the front entrance of the building opened towards like Trousdale. The architect got mad and up at the top of the building there are little gargoyles like every like three spots in the design and right over the main entrance to the building he put, he made a gargoyle of a monkey “thumbing his nose,” which back then was the equivalent of sticking your middle finger out at someone.

Jill first heard this legend/prank when she flew from her home in Frederick, Maryland to the University of Southern California for a campus tour in January of 2006. At the time of this campus tour she was considering whether or not she wanted to apply to the school. She remembers the tour group laughing at the story and how she thought the story was funny. Upon reflection, Jill feels that this story along with the number of other stories similar to this one that gave fun facts and history of the campus made the tour cute and more personal. Although this particular story was not a big crucial factor in her decision to attend USC, it made the tour that day more enjoyable. Jill believes that tour was very well-done and that the tour guide had a good personality. She thinks her feeling about the tour guide’s personality was enhanced by the inclusion of these stories. Also, stories such as this monkey one and the rivalry between USC and UCLA made the campus seem like a more fun place to be. This story is terminus post quem the building of Student Union.

Below are pictures that I took of the monkey gargoyle on the Student Union building.