|October 1, 1999||Volume 7, Number 3|
Senior sticks were 56-year tradition
U of S Archives
Arts and Science Senior Sticks, 1913-1969
The tradition of "Senior Sticks" at the University of Saskatchewan started in 1913, five years into the University's history. J.F. Cairns, owner of a Saskatoon department store, donated a cane to be presented every year to the "best all round man in the junior year" of Arts and Science. The name of each recipient was to be engraved on a silver band. The first recipient was John A. Rae, president of Year '13 and editor-in-chief of The Sheaf.
Two years after the selection of the first Senior Stick, the tradition began for women as well. The Class of 1914 presented a nearly identical cane, and the 1915 Graduating Yearbook reported that Ora Pettit, an executive member of several student organizations, became the "first among the girls to hold the Senior Stick."
The Arts and Science Senior Sticks were highly coveted awards, and the recipients were for many years featured in the yearbook. In later years, however, the honor diminished in importance, with the last Senior Sticks being named in 1968 (women) and 1969 (men). A number of other colleges also had senior sticks.
"The holders of the sticks might be known, in a word, as those 'whom their classmates delight to honor.' The position is a purely honorary one, but is one of the highest offices in the University life.
"New students should get acquainted with our Senior Stick holders and should learn something of the history of the symbols of office the sticks themselves." -1922 Student Handbook
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