So Minnesota: University of Minnesota Shoe Tree

Joe Mazan
Updated: March 22, 2021 10:31 PM
Created: March 16, 2021 04:27 PM

The University of Minnesota has many landmarks on campus, but one is largely unknown and filled with mystery. 

Near the Washington Avenue Bridge on the West Bank of the Mississippi River, you will find the University of Minnesota Shoe Tree.

The mysterious tradition of throwing shoes onto the tree dates back to least 1965.

"Shoes started appearing and different reasons started emerging for why that can be," said Marissa Smith with the University of Minnesota Alumni Association. "Some people think it is a tradition that students throw their shoes over the tree when they graduate to symbolize they are going on to the next journey. Some think it's good luck before an exam."


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