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Brenau dedicates its new Crow's Nest

POSTED: April 7, 2009 11:30 p.m.

Rebuilding tradition

Go where only seniors are allowed: Climb up the Crow's Nest on Brenau University's campus.

TOM REED/The Times

Jessica Hill, president of the Brenau Women's College class of 2009, leads classmates up to the top of the new "Crow's Nest" on the school's front campus. The structure was dedicated Tuesday during a ceremony.

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Tuesday, students celebrated the dedication of the latest version of the “Crow’s Nest” at Brenau University.

Since the original wooden deck was built much like a tree house as a gift for the class of 1905, the Crow’s Nest has been a visible fixture on the Brenau Campus. Tradition at the university’s Women’s College dictates only seniors are allowed on top of the deck.

During the annual class reunion weekend each spring, soon-to-graduate students escort members of the junior class to their elevated status in the Crow’s Nest.

The original Crow’s Nest was built around the base of a large oak tree near the northern edge of the front lawn of the Women’s College campus. After lightning struck the oak tree, the Crow’s Nest was relocated and has been uprooted several times for various reasons.

Brenau President Ed Schrader said he saw an opportunity to rebuild a more functional and safer nest structure at a site close to the original location.

“When your daughters come to Brenau, they can use the same Crow’s Nest,” he told the group of students gathered around the nest for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Brenau senior Jessica Hill, president of the class of 2009, presided over the dedication. She also lead her classmates to the top of the new structure.

“Today’s celebration is a special blend. It allows us to bring in the future and relish the past,” she told her classmates. “The structure may change, but the tradition will remain strong in our hearts.”

As Hill and other seniors mounted the new nest, Charmaine Gilmore was among the group of Brenau juniors who knelt down on the steps of the nest to sing a traditional farewell song to the seniors.

Gilmore, a legal studies major, said she’s looking forward to the day when she, too, gets to climb the steps of the new Crow’s Nest.
“It’s to show that we have matriculated through Brenau and we’re at the top, we’re at our peak,” she said.


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