The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Photo Essay: The search for the sacred “Secret Bench”

2 min read

After a long search, the secret bench was found | CARA LOWENGRUB


Staff Photographer

UMW prides themselves on having multiple benches located all over campus walk. Throughout my four years at UMW, the school has made a big deal about sitting on these benches. However, COVID restrictions have made it very difficult for friends to participate in the act of “benching.” Recently, I was informed by a peer that there is a secret bench located somewhere on campus. Two strict rules have been set in place for once you find the bench, in order to keep its location hidden: you cannot reveal the location to anyone and it must be photographed. For someone who is an avid bencher, I was dead set on finding this so-called “secret bench.” I started my search at the bridge that connects Eagle Landing to the main campus. From there I explored various areas around campus that are surrounded by a lot of trees. In the hour that it took me to find the bench, I came across a few areas of our small campus that I didn’t know existed.When I finally found the bench, it was in one of the last places that I expected. In order to follow the rules, I took a picture of the bench in which you can see my roommate Margaret Gregory relaxing after the strenuous search. I share photos of my experience here hoping that other students will go out and look for this bench, discovering some of the many secrets that the UMW campus has hidden. Personally, as a senior at UMW, I have learned that it is never too late to explore some parts of campus for the first time.

The beginning of the search starting from the Eagle Landing Bridge
Venturing off campus walk to go into the woods surrounding campus.
Discovering a new set of stairs to the parking lot
Cool student art made on a tree
Found an old grill that was used for barbecues
A really old fire hydrant that has been recently covered by leaves
Margaret Gregory resting on the bench after the long search for it

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