The college duck pond, along with its surrounding wall and benches, is the most popular spot on the Emory & Henry campus. Students like to gather on and around the duck pond wall after lunch and dinner on warm days, and local families bring their children to play and to feed the ducks. The duck pond was created in 1950, but the significance of its existence reaches back through the entire history of Emory & Henry.
In 1835, when the would-be founders of the college were searching for a site for the campus, one of the biggest concerns was the location of a spring vigorous enough to provide water for an entire college community and, with the help of a springhouse, cool enough to provide refrigeration for eggs and milk. It happened that the farm that occupied this valley was for sale, complete with excellent land and – most important – an unusually generous spring. Only after refrigeration became commonplace, along with piped water, the spring area was excavated to form a pond. It was E&H President Foye G. Gibson, who, in 1950, created the pond as it is known today and stocked it with ducks.