March of “Best Evers”

Friday, March 15, 2024

Dedicated students, distinguished colleagues and dear friends,

Happy Friday!

Our Patron Saint of Engineers has arrived on campus along with his court, and true to our century-old tradition, all the snakes have been bashed and all follies played! For 116 years here at S&T, we have held our St. Pat’s tradition when our campus comes to life with excitement. This tradition began in 1908 when S&T student George Menefeedonned a bishop’s hat and robe and rode a rail handcar into Rolla on St. Patrick’s Day.

You see, the Patron Saint of Engineers, according to our engineering majors, is looking out for all of us Miners here at S&T and around the world where generations of S&T students and alumni have endeavored to make our St. Pat’s celebration the “Best Ever!” And since its very inception in 1908, St. Pat’s has become the tradition most identified with Missouri S&T, thanks to one of our early foresightful leaders, Director Young, who helped establish our storied tradition of St. Pat.

Cleverly, Chancellor Young leveraged the occasion to invite faculty participation and advocated for faculty to take a more active role in the life of the school and its students. The minutes of a faculty meeting, coincidentally held on St. Patrick’s Day, 1911, note that Young highlighted that the faculty’s roles “are not limited to the particular subject they teach but includes the idea that every teacher is in a measure responsible for the weak and strong points of the school. He spoke of the social and civic influence of teachers in the community and showed that it is imperative that every teacher should be an embodiment, at least outwardly, of what is expected from the students.”

Thanks to the sponsorship of Coterie of Missouri S&T and the efforts of our St. Pat’s Board, this year’s celebrations started with our sold-out beautiful gala last Saturday night with the goal of raising scholarships for our women students and, of course, to reestablish connections and rekindle relationships. Other events include “Gonzo Gives Back” service activities, games, cudgel judging and a coronation ceremony tonight for this year’s Honorary Knights. The celebrations will continue tomorrow when alumni and students will paint streets green before the sun rises. The Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual 5K run will kick off at 8 a.m. tomorrow before the streets fill with alumni, students, faculty, staff, community members and families to watch the St. Pat’s parade.

Our students and alumni have kept our tradition alive and celebrated St. Pat’s throughout the country, in times of peace and war, and even in a World War II prison camp.

As we don’t live in a vacuum, and we strive to be part of something bigger than our present selves, and as we take part in our historical traditions for our students to claim their place in the fabric of our university, it is heartening to see them fully embrace our unique cultural tradition of the “Best Ever.” It is during our St. Pat’s, albeit strange “daze,” that our students have a great opportunity to help self-identify, to contribute to their own well-being and that of the campus, to cultivate a sense of belonging and to develop a healthy perspective of their place in the world.

As we celebrate this year’s “Best Ever,” we know next year’s celebration and all the following years will be the “Best Evers.” Along this journey and the march of “Best Evers,” we are grateful for a beautiful tradition that has served as a common thread for generations of our students and alumni. And, in that sense, it will always be the “Best Ever.”



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Mohammad Dehghani, PhD
Chancellor | 573-341-4116

206 Parker Hall, 300 West 13th Street, Rolla, MO 65409-0910