A century of St. Pats

The more things change, the more they stay the Best Ever.

St. Patrick lived roughly 1,600 years ago and historians will tell you he wasn’t really Irish – he was probably Welsh. Legend has it that he was kidnapped as a teenager by pirates and taken to Ireland, where he was enslaved. He escaped and eventually became the patron saint of Ireland. (After becoming a Bishop, he went back to Ireland and ultimately died there.) He was never an engineer and there haven’t been snakes in Ireland since before the last ice age.

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A tradition of love and beauties

“I have nothing to do with it. You’ll have to ask Mary.” That was Sarah McCrae’s response in 1916 when a caller asked if her daughter would serve as the first Queen of Love and Beauty elected by the junior class at MSM. (Technically, the first queen, Helen Baysinger, the daughter of a Board of Curators member, was crowned in 1915, but had not been elected.)

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Schedule of Events: 100th Best Ever

Get on your green and join UMR for an event 100 years in the making at this year’s Best Ever St. Pat’s, starting Monday, March 3.

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No. 4: He loves to tell the story

On Lance Haynes’ first day as an assistant professor of speech and media studies back in 1984, his colleagues took him to lunch in the old University Center-East cafeteria. As they walked across campus, Haynes noticed students walking around in green jackets, which seemed unusual in such warm weather.

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The street painting gang

Every year at dawn on this special day, a procession of figures wearing g

This is a gang of street painters. Their bellies are full of biscuits and gravy by now, and they are on a mission.

The annual tradition starts to take shape about 3 a.m. on the morning of the St. Pat’s Parade. Officially, only alumni reps of the St. Pat’s Committee are invited to participate. But there is an open invitation for any of these reps to show up and everyone is welcome to watch when the real action begins.

Lance Haynes, faculty advisor to the St. Pat’s Committee, always checks on the paint at an undisclosed location. Meanwhile, the alumni reps congregate around a big fire at someone’s house in Rolla and drink tea. Afterwards they go out for breakfast before heading toward Pine Street.

“Most of these guys only see each other once a year for the annual street painting,” says Haynes, a professor of speech and media studies at UMR. “One year, a guy flew in from Japan just to paint the street.”

The green paint is mixed in big garbage barrels and trucked downtown by baby reps (students who are in their first year on the committee). They park at the south end of Pine Street and begin distributing mops – about 100 of them – to the alumni reps. One year they tried cement mix trucks, Haynes says. That was very effective, but not as much fun.

The paint is a fast-drying formulation and it’s thinned with water so that it will wash off without too much trouble. Armed with the mops, the painters work their way toward the north end of the street, turning everything they see green.

Kevin Kriewall, CE’82, was around for the 75th St. Pat’s celebration and he’s looking forward to the 100th. “I always come back for street painting,” says Kriewall, a partner in a Tulsa, Okla., engineering firm. “Well, I did miss 1990 when my daughter was born.”

Last year, Kriewall brought his daughter to the parade. He has painted in the rain, sleet and snow. But, he says, his first street painting experience in 1982 is still the most memorable.

Go ask Alice? We would if we could

For more than four decades, students chosen to become knights of St. Patrick underwent a baptism into a pool of soupy, slimy concoction that came to be known as “Alice.”

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Fitz: St. Pat’s man behind the lens

Bob Fitzsimmons was a high school freshman when he started working part time for the Rolla Daily News in 1956.

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Cover mosaic

Photomosaic of St. PatsThe cover image of the Winter 2007 issue is a Photomosaic (R) of the shamrock that adorns the jacket worn for decades by St. Pat’s Committee members. It features 1,150 unique images of St. Pat’s through the years. The Photomosaic was created by artist Robert Silvers. See more of Silvers’ work at www.photomosaic.com.

The Best Ever in the worst conditions

Even in war time, UMR alumni will find a way to celebrate the Best Ever. For an article that appeared in a 1991 issue of the magazine, MSM-UMR Alumnus staff interviewed Gene Boyt, ME’41, about his experiences meeting up with two MSM alumni as prisoners of war in the Philippines during World War II.

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Kelly green

While stationed in Africa during World War II, Thomas W. Kelly Jr., MetE’40, wrote a will establishing an MSM scholarship fund with money he inherited from his uncle.

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