Ever since the first graduating class ( ‘68 ), the senior class at Whateley has traditionally created a “legacy.” As time has passed, this has come to mean “some really cool, permanent thingy that will make future generations look back and say ‘Whoa, the class of XX was so much more awesome than we could ever hope to be'.” The original idea was to demonstrate what a team of 100 super-powered mutants could accomplish with a month of working together. The fact that this inspires high school seniors to create absurd, incongruous, impractical junk that would immediately give away the secret of Whateley led to a “review and oversight committee” in ‘82. Nowadays, additions to the college are (mostly) in-style with the architecture, not too over the top for a normal private school of non-mutants and have some practical utility.
It must be remembered that while Whateley fosters a sense of nobility and civic-mindedness in some students, other students seem to take rather the opposite course. This has (as of 1973) resulted in a legacy backlash, known alternately as the “anti-legacy", the “senior scam", the “dark legacy” and “your last chance to wise up before you pin on the ‘sucker’ badge".
As tradition has solidified regarding the legacies, they operate as follows: Seniors (class president, etc.) circulate ideas throughout the fall. Plans are reviewed, modified, and approved by the oversight committee in December. From February 15 to March 21, seniors have only spotty attendance in class, devoting time to both the legacy and the anti-legacy. Future heroes and villains cooperate to help each other and get their last glimpse of how the other side lives. March 21 (or 20th), exactly at the vernal equinox, the new legacy is unveiled. Seniors get a two day vacation then return to classes until spring break.
Past Legacies include:
(early) Homer Gallery (in Shuster Hall). The mementos of prominent alumni (good and bad). Long room, glass cases, paintings, freestanding displays, wax manikins, stuffed animals that never existed, ultra-tech do-dads, weapons, one ton of gold bullion. Security is pretty good.
‘74 Tunnels to Hawthorne, Twain, and Whitman
(Underground “Den of iniquity” also added as the Dark Legacy – location unknown)
‘77 “Arena 77” Underground ‘training hall’ armored against full use of powers, with visitor (spectator) gallery
(That year’s dark legacy was a set of pneumatic tubes, betting booths, and bookie stations that serve to this day)
‘81 Observatory Dome (and tower) added to Kane Hall
‘85 Crystal Hall. A glass geodesic dome housing the school cafeteria, with interior waterfall and tropical garden. (The “glass” is actually a highly durable bulletproof crystal.) Added to Shuster Hall in the location of a much older concert hall (which was torn out).
‘87 “Black Monday.” A stock market crash engineered by elements of the ‘87 senior class. Fortunately never traced back to Whateley. In recompense, the class of ‘87 has been enormously generous in scholarship and bequest funding.
‘91 “Arena 91” Larger and more heavily armored than Arena 77, “91” included holographic scenery and backgrounds inspired by (and directly stolen from) the just release game “Street Fighter II” (those backdrops have been regularly upgraded, following new game releases)
‘99 “Arena 99” Intended to be the last word in arenas, this was larger and more armored than Arena 91 and included upgradable computer-controlled magnetic and force-field technology to provide obstacles and opponents. Dress code for Arena 99 requires a mask, costume and alias.
The 99 Dark Legacy was a full set of surveillance cameras, and high-speed network links to Las Vegas and several pay-per-view distribution sites. School officials have sporadically tried to shut both down but since the wildly popular “Mutant Death Match” broadcasts have never been connected to Whateley or its students, the effort has dropped off.