With Halloween right around the corner, it's hard not to stroll around grounds without thinking of UVa's most famous dropout--Edgar Allan Poe. Yes, THE Edgar Allan Poe! In February of 1826, Poe began his academic journey at the University of Virginia. During his time here, he studied ancient and modern languages. While Poe excelled academically, he wasn't exactly UVa's definition of an ideal pupil. Essentially, Poe broke all of UVa's strict rules against things such as gambling and tobacco. In doing so, Poe ultimately jeopardized his chances of graduating. Poe's love of gambling caused him to go into debt which prevented him from registering for classes and buying textbooks. Frustrated, discouraged, and poor, Poe dropped out of UVa on December 15, 1826.
Although Poe left UVa, he maintains a powerful presence here. For example, just by visiting UVa's Bookstore, you'll find Poe-inspired cups, bobble heads, and shirts. If you want to get a little closer to UVa's famous literary drop-out, you can always visit his old dorm room on the West Range. It's highly appropriate that the Gothic writer once inhabited room No. 13 which is now preserved by The Raven Society. You can get a glimpse of Poe's life at UVa by peering into No. 13's glass door. Inside you will see early 19th century furniture as well as a black raven. By pressing a button outside of the room, you can hear a recording that explains Poe's time at UVa.
Perhaps if you're brave enough to visit No.13 in the dark hours of the night, you might see Poe pacing around the room. Don't be frightened if a black cat crosses your path or if a raven perches on your shoulder. Although Poe's life at UVa is nevermore, we can forever feel his presence by tapping at this chamber door.