Payne Whitney Gymnasium

Inside the entrance to Payne Whitney with rotunda and stuffed Handsome DanFour years at Yale leave many indelible memories of persons, places and times. Among the places, my favorite was the Payne Whitney Gymnasium. The immense building seemed immutable, frozen in time. Entry lights were low, the ceiling was high and everybody kept their voices down, as if entering a temple. However, here the religion was shaping the body, not the mind.

Certain memories and events stand out: the mandatory freshman 100 meter swim followed by nude posture pictures on a pedestal; watching our undefeated freshman basketball team or the indefatigable swimming teams; winning some and losing some as a member of the wrestling team; and, of course, working out. Whether lifting weights or running up and down the wide smooth stairways or doing laps on the running track high above the competition pool, Payne Whitney Gymnasium was a steady companion helping me maintain sanity throughout my college years.

Buzz Potts