SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse University Professor Marvin Druger knows every nook and cranny of the campus. After all, he’s worked there for 47 years. These days, Druger shares that knowledge on a “historical campus tour.”
The tours are designed for Syracuse’s staff and faculty. Druger said it gives them a closer look at the campus they work at every day.
“The idea of the tour is to show them the hidden treasures of Syracuse University,” he said. “Not the places that are traditionally known by everybody, but rather to point out special things.”
There’s a door that goes to nowhere in the Hall of Languages building. The Tree of 40 Fruits grows a variety of stone fruits. There’s a bench that brings you to your soulmate, known as the “Kissing Bench.” Legend has it if you kiss someone on it, you will end up marrying them.
Druger does this tour in honor of his own soulmate. His wife, Patricia, passed away in 2014. She inspired him to start the tours.
“We went on a tour, and I did all the talking,” Druger explained. “So, she got mad, and said from now on, you do it. And so, I started doing it!”
Vicki Grabda works as a financial analyst at Syracuse. She’s glad she knows a little bit more about the campus’ history.
“It gives a whole new perspective on where you work,” she said. “It gives you a grounding and makes you proud of the university and where you are.”
Druger finishes up the tour at Holden Observatory, which has a learning center named after his wife. Just outside the observatory is a tree engraved with a heart in the Drugers’ honor, their love forever a part of Syracuse’s history.