As a well-informed poster by the name of “johnwesley” noted in reply to our last post about the labyrinth, more information regarding the provenance of the labyrinth has been unearthed and propagated on the alumni listserv. (Those who don’t want the mystery dispelled should stop reading here.)
The Labyrinth (not “The Reed Labyrinth”) was constructed in honor of Kit and Joe Reed, whom, although you may have never met, you have almost certainly seen walking their pitch black scotties across campus.
Kit is the Resident Writer at wes and a prolific author, and Joe is a Professor Emeritus in English and American Studies, with expertise in film. The Labyrinth itself is actually only a part of the gift to the University; apparently most of the funds raised by their former students (headed by author Steve Alter) for this project didn’t go towards the construction of the Labyrinth itself but were used to set up a fund at the University Press.
We’ve been provided with exclusive photos of the groundbreaking ceremony. (Which, we’ve been told, was perpetrated with the help of a cake knife!!)
Why a Labyrinth rather than some more conventional piece of campus architecture?
“Every university should have a labyrinth, for it represents our desire to unravel the essential mysteries of human existence. It is a problem to be solved, a question to be answered, a paradox to be considered. Each labyrinth has a center and, as a diagram of learning, its tangled patterns lead us to that hidden core. Even as the pursuit of knowledge follows many diverging paths there is also a basic symmetry to these designs, a unified whole that pleases the eye and piques the mind.”
I’m definitely going to read some books there this year.