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History of Engineers’ Week

The History of Engineers' Week

As a tradition with origins stemming back to the 1903, all engineering students revere Mizzou’s Engineers’ Week. Legend has it that the tradition began on a beautiful sunny day in the spring of 1903 when engineering students were in class for six days out of the week and had few chances for respite. Upon the morning of March 17, an anonymous proclamation — some believe by the Saint himself — was found on the bulletin board of the Engineering building, reading: “St. Patrick was an Engineer. Holiday today.” Nevertheless, the “discovery” that St. Patrick was an engineer was worthy of celebration and skipping classes. (It is rumored that an engineering student also proved this discovery mathematically.)

In light of overwhelming evidence and the mysterious proclamation, a class officer’s meeting was hastily called, and a formal proclamation was drafted declaring that St. Patrick’s Day to be a holiday for all engineers. Engineering students consequently collected in the Quad until the University President Jesse came to silence the crowd, ordering the “Gentlemen to go back to class, and the roughnecks to go uptown.” Not surprisingly, the men headed uptown.

By 1906, several of the traditions still practiced today were in full swing: Missouri’s Engineer’s Song, St. Patrick’s Ball, the knighting ceremony, the discovery of the Blarney Stone and the appearance of St. Patrick himself – the patron saint of engineering. Because of this celebration, the shamrock and St. Patrick have become the icons of the College of Engineering.

E-week has continued to grow throughout the years and has seen the addition of the Green Tea ceremony, various stunts, such as turning the lighted dome atop Jesse Hall green, and the rivalry between the engineering students and the law school over a stolen Engineers’ Week queen and a 75-foot snake.

St. Patrick’s celebration is a week-long event that engineering students look forward to every year, hoping to maintain and exceed the traditions of more than 100 years.

Engineers' Week History
Mizzou Engineering Students perform the first “kow-tow” on the steps of the Engineering building in 1905. (University Archives, C:9/00/1).

Songs

Engineers’ Week is a celebratory time, and music plays a large part in that celebration. Formal music is provided at the knighting ceremony. Informal music is played at events such as the Hot Dog Banquet. There are even songs created specifically for MU engineers. These songs are old and can be heard sung by E-week participants throughout the week. One song, the Missouri Engineers Song, is sung during Dome Lighting. Those who don’t know the song or who want to refresh their memories can view the words below.

St. Patrick was an Engineer – he was – he was.
St. Patrick was an Engineer – he was – he was,
For he invented calculus and handed it down for us to cuss;
Erin Go Bragh – RAH FOR THE ENGINEERS!

St. Patrick was an Engineer – he was – he was.
St. Patrick was an Engineer – he was – he was,
For he surveyed the Emerald Isle; he made its maps and its profile; 
Erin Go Bragh – RAH FOR THE ENGINEERS!

St. Patrick was an Engineer – he was – he was.
St. Patrick was an Engineer – he was – he was,
For he turned on the switch one day and hustled all the snakes away, 
Erin Go Bragh – RAH FOR THE ENGINEERS!

St. Patrick was an Engineer – he was – he was.
St. Patrick was an Engineer – he was – he was,
For he was a gun with a Monkey wrench; he screwed the lawyers all to the bench! 
Erin Go Bragh – RAH FOR THE ENGINEERS!

The inspirational lyrics for The Engineers were written originally as a poem by an
MU engineering student and published in the 1922 Shamrock. Many years later
the poem was discovered, modified, and set to music by another MU engineering
student. It is suitable for singing year-round as an anthem for MU Engineering.

Verses
1. Not a formula and rule can lead to highest usefulness.
Dexterity is not the key to Engineers’ success.
All this and more must be to them, high hopes for high careers.
It is the will – the dream to build – that makes the Engineers.

2. To see their power serving man; to see great rivers spanned.
Great towers rise straight to the skies beneath their guiding hand.
That beacon light they ever keep before the toiling years.
It is the will – the dream to build – that makes the Engineers.

3. Their glory is in work well done; their might, the might to do.
And all their skill is spent to fill, and bring their promise true.
Their music is a motor’s hum; their path is with the spheres.
It is the will – the dream to build – that makes the Engineers.
Oh, it is the will – the dream to build – that makes the Engineers.

Erin Go Bragh! (St. Pat!) was introduced to MU Engineers’ Week celebrations in
the 1920s. An engineering student at the University of Tennessee wrote the
lyrics and set it to the music of a popular World War 1 melody called Long Boy.

Verse 1
Long ago, in the Emerald Isle,
Lived a lad named St. Pat with a cherry smile,
Oh his hair was red and his eyes were blue,
And he was Irish through and through.
He saw his duty plain and clear,
Says he I’ll be an Engineer
And he did so wondrously well at that
That we know him now as Old Saint Pat!
<chorus>

Chorus
So on St. Pat’s day, once a year,
Comes Every Loyal Engineer,
To honor here our patron saint,
And to celebrate with out restraint,
To show our friends the why and how,
And all join in the Grand Kow Tow.
The seniors kiss the Blarney Stone,
And Old St. Pat reigns on his thrown.
(Last time only) ERIN – GO – BRAGH! – – St. PAT!!!

Verse 2
Some years ago, so it would seem,
To an Irish student in a dream,
St. Patrick came and he showed, he did!
Where the genuine Blarney Stone was hid.
Says Pat “Now on this stone, ARRAH!
You’ll find inscribed, Erin Go Bragh,
Which means, as I do now make clear,
St. Patrick was an Engineer!”
<chorus>

Oh Engineers of Missouri – an E-Week classic about the glorious return of St.
Patrick to MU each year for the Knighting Ceremony. Its clever lyrics, penned by
J Hutton (B.S. CE), are set to the tune of Oh Shenandoah.
(Air: “Oh Shenandoah”

Verses
1. Oh Engineers! Leave laboratories!
Oh come, and celebrate him.
The Patron Saint of Engineering;
Today, he comes to us!
Ye Engineers of Missouri.

2. The Engineers are long to see him.
Oh St. Patrick’s soon arriving!
And Jesse’s dome shines brightly green,
For all the world to see.
Engineers of Missouri.

3. Oh Engineers, bow down in honor,
He comes (today) with his shillelagh!
To bestow on you the honor of Knighthood,
Kneel down and kiss the (Blarney) Stone,
Ye Engineers of Missouri.

4. So put away your calculators.
Put away those long equations.
Oh put away your notes and figures.
Come and celebrate with all your heart!
Ye Engineers of Missouri

5. Oh Engineers, it is your calling,
To PRAISE the old St. Patrick!
With game and song and green libations,
This week, this sacred week,
Ye Engineers of Missouri.

When Engineers Are Smiling – a ‘retooled’ version of the Irish classic.
(Air: “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”)

Verse 1
Ol’ St. Patrick is here, all the engineers cheer,
And Jesse’s dome glows green and bright.
And the Stone reappears, as it does every year,
And the faithful are all made his Knights.
Oh, there are no more tests, and the homework is left
’till the whole celebration is through!
Erin Go Bragh they say in that engineer way!
Ol’ St. Patrick a toast to you! (Here’s to you!)
<chorus>

Chorus
When engineers are smiling,
’cause St. Patrick’s on his way.
There’ll be stunts and cheers and good times as
the schoolwork goes away.
When engineers are happy
In this special time of year,
For a week of celebrating
That St. Pat was an Engineer!

Verse 2
With Shillelagh in hand, he’s the king of the land
Or at least he’s the king of the Ball (St. Pat’s Ball!).
And the queen by his side with her sash worn with pride,
beams with beauty and love for us all.
They are honored and praised, ’til the end of their days,
For they’ve earned this distinction most high.
By their blood, sweat, and tears, oh, they are engineers,
And they’ll carry this honor with pride! (side by side!)
<chorus>

Verse 3
Oh we are engineers; we’re devoid of all fears,
And we’ll win any contest we try. (Bring it on!)
Oh, the business men choke and the lawyers blow smoke,
And the aggies will lie down and cry.
With a heart full of pride and our rulers that slide,
We can solve any problem with ease.
With a full topped-off glass—oh, the answers come fast—So,
Pour one more round if you please! (If you please!)
<chorus>

  • History
  • As a tradition with origins stemming back to the 1903, all engineering students revere Mizzou’s Engineers’ Week.
  • e-week Events
  • It is every engineer’s duty to participate in the celebration of Engineers’ Week.
  • St. Patrick's Court
  • Five queen candidates and Five king candidates make up St. Patrick’s court.
  • Merchandise
  • Engineers’ Week merchandise is available Monday-Friday throughout E-Week.
  • Sponsors
  • We would like to thank all of our Engineers’ Week sponsors.
  • Contact Us
  • Feel free to contact us if you would like additional information or have any questions.
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