Rumor has it: A history of Olivet myths and legends

Rumor has it that Olivet has somewhat of a “myth bank” surrounding its’ park-like campus. Are they true? Do the tunnels exist? Was there actually a shooting range in McHie?

Some of you may have heard whispers around campus of such things as the tunnels or the moon. Have any of you heard of how a church used to meet where the Department of Mathematics is now located? Or how the Oak apartments are built on top of an ancient Indian burial ground? Kidding about that one…maybe.

The Pillars of the Church

Let’s start off easy. Burke Basement. Better known as math world to some, others it’s foreign language town. To the older generations, it’s church service. The twelve pillars you can see in the basement are rumored to be representations of the twelve apostles for the church. While Burke used to be the location of College Church back in the day, Director of Physical Plant, Matt Whitis believes it to be the location of a different church.


Upping the ante, before December 12, 2012, pools were something of great commodity on campus. Located as the foundation of Miller Business Center, a pool used to be the hot spot on the weekends. Given the rapid growth of the surrounding community, pools are no longer a big deal, what with our access to a full-size Olympic competition sized pool with a hot tub and resistance river.  Another spot for the perfect late night swim, which some students took advantage of 10-15 years ago, was in the basement of the Birchard fitness center.

The Tunnels

Now, while taking a swim in an underground pool may be considered fun, others find going in the drainage tunnels near the Admissions building to be their rebellion of choice. Matt Whitis said these flood every time there is a big rainstorm and they run from the chapel pond all the way over to a spillage creek that connects with the Kankakee River.

Unlike some schools, we do not have tunnels that connect the buildings on our campus. Disney has the biggest tunnel system, then D.C., and then some college campuses to make maintenance easier. Unfortunately, the only pipes we have running underneath and connecting some of our buildings are steam tunnels that are direct buried.

Some may say that the cages in the basements of some dorm buildings link you up with the tunnels. Those cages are either locks for the mechanical rooms of the dorm building or a storage cage for the RA/RD of the dorm. Nothing to see here, folks. Just a casual cage that houses no secret tunnels.

The Moon

The alleged moon, known to some students as the “Limestone Hill” is just what it sounds like. A limestone hill out in Limestone, Il. Put on the map by construction workers who work at Vulcan Materials Co, and the movie that was filmed there: Chain Reaction.

The Warming House

Some may wonder where the Warming House got its name. A warming house for ice skaters that used the front paved area for ice skating. Much to the pleasure of our summer residents, the Chicago Bears, the ice skating rink was taken down after many complaints of bug infestations were made. An ice skating rink no more.


You heard it here, folks. Rumors that students may have heard of or may have never thought could be on our campus. Stay tuned for other rumors and myths that surround our park-like campus.


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