The UMR Magazine staff asked alumni to share their fondest memories of UMR"s grand tradition.

In preparation for St. Pat’s, a fraternity brother – Billy Kay, MinE’33 – made some home brew in the shed behind our boarding house. It stunk up the whole neighborhood! Our cook said ‘Boys, I’m going to stick with you through thick and thin, but when it gets thick, I’ll get thin.’”
Irvin Spotti, MetE’33
“It was a happy time, waiting on the arrival by handcar over the railroad tracks. The parade down through town. The ceremony at school. The dance. Everything is a great memory.”
Robert Tindall, CE’49, MS CE’50
“St. Pat riding in on the Frisco hand cart. The raucous celebration in the auditorium. The three
days of celebration. The parties at Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at 8th and Olive. The smoke-filled “blue room” down by the Frisco track. The many dogs who hung around the fraternity house – “red dog,” “brown dog,” and “no dog” (a cat). With 1,500 students – five female – we imported women from
St. Louis, Kansas City, Stephens College and Mizzou for the parties.”

Gene Langston, MetE’50
“The manure spreader in the parade for St. Pat’s Day. The Saturday night dances (30 miles away). Dean Curtis Wilson as an excellent speaker. The military officers at Fort Leonard Wood.”
Clarence Babcock, MinE’51
“Curb-to-curb beer on Pine Street.”
Richard Heagler, CE’57, MS CE’62
“If you ever needed a ride back to Rolla from anywhere, all you had to do was put on your green
and someone would pick you up. They knew where you were headed.”

Tom Feger, CE’69
“Alice! I visited Alice in 1971. I have never sobered up so fast! Drunk in…sober out. No party anywhere compares to St. Pat’s.”
Joe Ward, MetE’72
“On Alice, I remember the guys would cover themselves with Vaseline and put cotton in their
ears and nostrils to keep the muck out and make it easier to clean off afterwards. If you were sitting
in the bleachers down wind…phew!”

Dan Kern, CE’74
“I was a junior rep in 1981 and an alumni rep in 1982. In ’81, I worked the parade and the games, which was fun but cold – it was sleeting at the games. In ’82, I got to do my first street painting, which is, of course, my best memory. It was so fun! As a junior rep, our house built and maintained Alice, so of course I got to collect all the supplies – another good time!”
Kevin Kriewall, CE’82
“I always attended the St. Pat’s events on campus at the mall and the Puck whenever I could. There was nothing better than watching friends and strangers pile on sweatshirts, wrestle in Jell-O or kill snakes with fancy contraptions. I also always attended the main follies and the parade. Being on
the Student Union Board, I was always involved with planning the major concert, dealing with the bands and helping out with security. One of my first St. Pat’s helped me break of out my ‘shell.’ I went down residential streets with people I barely knew and attended basement parties to drink green beer. Of course, I did that at the Grotto, too. One of my favorite years was when I got a female friend from Mizzou to come down and experience St. Pat’s with me.”

Cory Chapman, EMgt’04

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  1. William F. "Bill" Oberbeck, 1939 says

    St Pats at MSM was a gala affair, from Wednesday, after classes, through the weekend and ended Sunday evening when our dates left. I enjoyed the celebration of 1936 through 1939.
    A St. Pat’s Board was made up of junior and senior student members of each fraternity and social clubs on the campus. This board put on many dances and other activities during the school year to raise the funds needed to put on the celebration.
    Each year a big name band was hired to play for the costume ball on Friday night and the formal dance on Saturday. During my years at MSM, we had Frankie Masters, Jan Garbour and Joe Sanders.
    Thursday the PiKA members moved to the Pierce Pennant for the weekend as the out-of-town dates were chaperoned in the house.
    St. Pat’s, an elected member of the St. Pat’s Board, clothes in robe and crown, arrived at the Rolla RR Station on a RR Hand Car. He mounted his throne, an overstuffed chair, on a manure spreader drawn by the thinnest horses found in Phelps County.
    Thus began a parade up Pine Street to Parker Hall auditorium. The parade was made up of different groups and animals from the circus that wintered just south of Rolla. These animals were ridden by senior students.
    Following the parade, St. Pat held court in Parker Hall, knighting the senior students of MSM. In the ceremony, each was reminded of some of his "back yard" activities and made to kiss the Blarney Stone, a proper casting.
    Thursday evening and throughout the night there were many open and closed dances and parties throughout the campus.
    Friday was climaxed by the costume ball in Jackling Gym, dancing to music of a big band.
    Saturday evening ended with the formal dance and the crowning of the queen. The queen was a Rolla girl, her maids of honor was a girl from each fraternity and social club. The queen my senior year was Mary McCrae.
    Sunday was a return to reality, the leaving of girl friends, the end of a memorable time.