Thursday, May 17, 2018

Oregon State University Canoe Parade

During the 1915-1925 period, Oregon State University was a much different place than it is today.  Enrollment in 1910 was 1,591, increasing to 3,347 by 1930. There were many traditions which have since disappeared. For example, at that time all freshmen women were required to wear a green ribbon and the men a green cap.

Another traditional activity was Junior Weekend. 

Oregon Agricultural College
Junior Weed-End program
Celebrated toward the end of the academic year, it represented transition to the next level that would follow successful completion of exams.  Freshmen got to burn their green caps and ribbons.  They also competed against the sophomores in a tug of war across the Marys River millrace.

Another feature of the weekend was a canoe fete-- a parade of decorated canoes and floats along the Marys River.  Here are photographs of some of the more imaginative floats.
Other activities included a concert, a play, a junior picnic, a junior prom, and a convocation of the school as a whole. The weekend, and its traditional activities, seemed to have died out sometime between 1938 and the early 1940s. 

By Martha Fraundorf, Volunteer for Benton County Historical Society, Philomath, Oregon

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