Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gravity Gravitas

Gordon is one of a short list of institutions with a monument from the Gravity Research Foundation. Others include Babson, Middlebury, Eastern Nazarene, Tufts and Wheaton. Gordon’s monument is located on the edge of the quad, between MacDonald and the Ken Olsen Science Center.

The Gravity Research Foundation was founded by Roger W. Babson (1875–1967), an MIT graduate and a businessman. Babson’s interest in gravity was triggered by the childhood drowning of his sister in a river near Gloucester, Massachusetts. In an essay called “Gravity—Our Enemy No. 1,” he wrote, “She was unable to fight gravity, which came up and seized her like a dragon and brought her to the bottom.”

Babson’s views were “reflected by the wording in the announcement of the first essay competition [sponsored by the Foundation] that said the awards were to be given for suggestions for anti-gravity devices, for partial insulators, reflectors, or absorbers of gravity.”
For many years Gordon’s monument was largely covered by foliage, planted many years ago by one who prefers to remain anonymous. Recently, however, it has been “shorn.”
Photo: Gordon’s Gravity Stone

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