One of the most beautiful and pleasant places in the city is the campus of Columbia University. It is simply incredible that such a place exists in the tightly packed metropolis that is Manhattan, and I never pass up a chance to visit.
Located in the center of campus is the statue of Alma Mater (actually the goddess Minerva), by Daniel Chester French. Now known as a symbol for the university, Alma Mater’s arms are raised invitingly toward the campus, as if she is welcoming in the knowledge surrounding her.
As it turns out, Alma Mater has a secret: an owl, hidden somewhere in the folds of her robe.
I won’t tell you exactly where it is – half the fun is taking a few minutes to search for the owl and being surprised at how cleverly it is hidden. Also, there are a number of legends about what happens to those who find the owl on their own (marry a Barnard student within the year, get straight A’s, etc.), and I’d hate to deprive you of any of these rewards.