Volume 13, Number 2 September 9, 2005

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Convo Hall moose head looking for new home


The moose that once oversaw all activities in Convocation Hall must now be content with a view of the ceiling in the University Archives.

Photo by Colleen MacPherson

WANTED: New home for old moose. Quiet. Doesn’t wander. Good with students. Likes to be up high.

The College Building has now been restored to its former glory, with one notable exception – the moose head that for years hung over the door inside Convocation Hall will have to find a new home.

The moose was donated to the University in 1921 (along with two stuffed pileated woodpeckers) by Dr. T.A. Patrick of Yorkton. In a letter to then-President Walter Murray, Patrick described the head as having a “... particularly large and rugged pair of antlers with a spread of 54 inches and each about 17 inches broad”.

Upon receiving the donation, Murray responded, in part: “The Moose head and woodpeckers came the day before Convocation, and I hoped to be able to consult you with regard to the best place to put the Moose head. It seems to be me it should be placed in Convocation Hall, directly above the front entrance.”

And so it was, until current President Peter MacKinnon made the decision not to return the moose head to its former post after the building was complete. He explained, with good humour: “It was, of course, a gift when Dr. Murray was president. It may be that the moose head had a greater esthetic appeal in that era than it does today. We remain grateful for the gift, but perhaps it would be more appropriately located elsewhere on campus.”

MacKinnon added that, esthetics aside, the contractor has told him that because the ceiling over the door to Convocation Hall had to be lowered during the renovation, the moose would no longer fit anyway.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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