“It’ll be quicker if I go head first,” said Chapman.
After having his collegiate options limited to a handful of non-Ivy League schools, Ivy League legacy Xavier Chapman tried to gauge the lethal potential of a jump from Burton Memorial Tower during a recent U-M campus tour.
“I had my doubts when we started the tour, I had heard so many good things about Michigan, yet, none of the buildings seemed tall enough to throw myself from in a fit of despair,” said Chapman. “I mean, a fall from the North Quad Tower might break a few bones, and the Union definitely has paralysis potential, but it wasn’t until I saw the bell tower that I knew this place was the real deal.”
According to Chapman, the iconic bell tower, home to the world’s fourth heaviest carillon, is “definitely tall enough to get the job done.” Chapman had Michigan as one of his top prospects, behind Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Cornell, Yale, UPenn, Dartmouth, and Brown, in that order.
Chapman’s parents, Rafael and Thelma Chapman, both Ivy League alumni, praised the University of Michigan after the tour.
“I finally see what all the fuss is about. We’ve been looking at schools all across the country, but this place is something special,” said Rafael Chapman. “At 212 feet, the bell tower here blows UNC’s out of the water. It may not seem like much, but that extra 40 feet can make the difference between death upon impact or hours later in the midst of a futile operation—when you have the luxury of choice, you may as well be picky.”
“Sure, Berkeley’s is technically 307 feet, but the observatory deck is only 190!” added Thelma Chapman. “It took a bit of persistence to wrestle that detail out of the tour guide, but when your son is making a decision as big as where to erase the shame he has brought upon your family, you do everything you can to help.”