The myth of crossing Ogden Circle



Meshach Roberts | Staff Writer

Every student wonders what would happen if they actually cross Ogden Circle. Would they prove the theory wrong and graduate in four years? 

The tradition of crossing Ogden Circle after graduating is a special moment for most Hamptonians, but a very small group decided to make the stroll across the grass a little too early.

In front of Robert C. Ogden Auditorium is the infamous Ogden Circle. According to the Ogden Hall curse, students who even touch the grass will not graduate on time, or worse, will not graduate at all. 

Thus, walking around the circle becomes second nature for most Hampton University students. Students finally get to walk across this forbidden circle once they have completed all requirements for graduation.

Students have many absurd theories about how the Ogden Circle myth started. Still, it is hard to pin down the exact origin of the curse. 

Although no one knows who created this myth, it has spread like wild fire to the majority of Hampton students. 

“I first heard about the myth of crossing Ogden Circle from RA’s in my dorm during pre-college as well as upperclassmen and alumni,” said Joshua Reed, a junior aviation major from Alexandria, Virginia. “Now it is an unwritten rule: You don’t cross Ogden Circle.”

Most students are too scared to try to debunk the myth. Pamela Richardson, Assistant Director of Marketing and Promotions and Hampton alum stated, “I do not know anyone who has even attempted to disrespect tradition and cross Ogden Circle.”

Unfortunately, the risk of possibly delaying graduation is not enough to stop many students from touching the grass. 

“Those I know who crossed it, did not graduate” said Dr. Sabin Duncan, Director of the Freddye T. Davy Honors College.

The Ogden Circle “curse” teaches many students two valuable lessons that can not be learned in any book: patience and self-discipline. 

Handling this delayed gratification is a difficult yet rewarding task for many Hampton students.

When discussing the idea of crossing Ogden Circle prematurely during his time at Hampton, Dr. Duncan said “I stood at the edge and changed my mind, saying ‘I ain’t got nothing to prove.’ I graduated. Twice.”

The Ogden Circle curse is a myth shared among alumni and undergraduate students who cringe at the idea of another student attempting to touch the grass. A myth that according to many Hampton students present and past, has still not been disproved.


3 thoughts on “The myth of crossing Ogden Circle

  1. John Roscoe 7 Nov 2015 / 6:48 am

    Well I graduated in 1979, and yes I dispelled that myth, by crossing that circle many times. If grass or the circle was going to stop me from graduating, then what kind of student was I at Hampton! Just a crazy myth! But, then again you would have to know my personality. Lol


  2. Lisa 8 Nov 2015 / 2:31 am

    I graduated in ’95 and I have NEVER walked across Ogden Circle. Tradition is tradition! That’s what’s HIU is all about QT2


  3. Deidra Davis 9 Nov 2015 / 12:15 am

    I graduated in 1990 Dynasty. I dared to cross Ogden Circle. After graduation I had a picture cartwheeling across Ogden Cirlce. If it’s a myth or tradition of respect it gave us something to loo forward to.


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