Is the Legend of the Wingate Seal Really True? 

Staff Writer: Brianna Weston

There’s one rule: NEVER step on the seal at Wingate University, if you plan to graduate on time. But if you do, be prepared to graduate late or don’t graduate at all.

You may wonder, is this superstition real?

In recent years, navigators warn future Wingate students to avoid the seal at all costs or face the consequences. The legend is that if a student steps on the seal they will not graduate within four years. Freshmen take that advice to heart and try to avoid the paved circle at all costs.

“My roommate stepped on the seal as a joke my freshman year and now she’s graduating late; I think the myth is true,” says Jaida Brown, a Wingate senior.

A number of students say they have had friends who did not graduate or no longer attend Wingate after walking on the seal. Does this mean the legend is true or just a

The Wingate shield inside the paved circle was created around 1981-82. In the Weekly Triangle published in September 1993, staff writer Lisa Griffen wrote: “The
class of 1993 raised more than $15,000 for the granite commemorative disk etched with the seal to be placed in front of the Burris Building.”

For raising funds efficiently and organizing the project, the seal was given by the class of 1993 as their senior class gift to the school.

During that time, no evidence of the legend was found in the yearbooks. There were a few speculations that it was created in October 1994 during Homecoming but no one remembers how it started. Current staff members who attended Wingate during the ’90s yielded no new information when asked about the topic.

“During my time as an undergraduate, I just remembered to avoid the seal,” says Cindy Nance, an information technology specialist at Wingate.

Other current staff members who were attending during 1994 and the majority of them could not remember who started it. “The superstition started in the fall semester of my freshman year, but I can’t recall hearing about it until much later on,” Wingate General Counsel and Senior Vice President Ben Sidbury says.

There are several theories about how the legend started. Some say it could have been a superstition created by Student Government or Residence Life. Some say it could have been a rumor spread by a random student. Could the class of 1993 have played a part in the beginning? Who knows? The mystery is still unsolved.

“I stepped on the seal multiple times and I’m still graduating on time,” senior Christyn Nichols says. “I think the story is a mind game to trick you into thinking the superstition is true.”

Others aren’t so sure.

But just to be safe, WU students need to heed this advice: DON’T STEP ON THE

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