University | 1:37 pm | November 1, 2011 | By Carolyn Lipka

Morse dining hall boasts walrus skeleton

The walrus skeleton above now hangs on a wall in the Morse College dining hall.
The walrus skeleton above now hangs on a wall in the Morse College dining hall. Photo by Carolyn Lipka.

Ezra Stiles dining hall shows college pride via a mounted moose head. Jonathan Edwards, land of the spiders, displays a spider in its web. But Morse is taking pride to a new level: last week, a full walrus skeleton appeared on the dining hall’s back wall.

The walrus skeleton is on long-term loan from the Peabody Museum, according to Michael Schulson ’12, a leader of the “walrus project.”

Schulson got the idea to acquire the walrus skeleton along with two of his friends, Aspen Reese ’12 and Sean Beckett ’12 during a conversation about bones and residential colleges. Reese, who works at the Peabody’s Vertebrate Zoology collection, realized that it would be possible to get the Peabody to loan Morse a skeleton, said Schulson.

After the students got in touch with Morse Master Frank Keil, the master’s office convinced the museum to loan one of their 36 walrus skeletons, Schulson said.

“Although they have a number of other walrus skeletons, it is difficult and rare for museums to send out their specimens like this,” said Schulson.

Ten Morse students interviewed, meanwhile, were split about the bones’ presence on the wall. Five students liked the addition.

“It makes the ribs a good amount less tempting,” Demi Horvat ’14 said of the dining hall’s delicious ribs. “But it’s definitely cool and I respect the sentiment.”

The other five students did not.

“It makes me want to become a vegetarian,” Rebecca Edelman ’14 said. “I think Morse is trying to make us go green.”

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