A Look Back: Engineering Week at WU

Engineering Week has a long history of presenting competitions, fundraisers, and acclaimed guest speakers on WU’s campus.  Since the first decades of the twentieth century, the School of Engineering has held an annual Engineer’s Day showcasing the ingenuity of its students.  Most commonly, students made and presented displays of their latest work.

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Engineering Day has often included an appearance by St. Patrick, the engineers’ chosen patron saint, generally accompanied by students in the costumes of medieval knights.  St. Patrick crowned a King of Engineers during the day’s festivities.

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Hatchet_1933_p214By the 1920s, the Engineer’s Council also presented the Spring Masque, in honor of St. Pat, complete with elaborate costumes.  At that ball, they crowned the Engineer’s Queen, who would appear richly attired in each spring’s issue of the Hatchet.     

 

In later years, students built a pedestrian bridge on the Quad and began hosting egg-drop and paper airplane competitions.  The content of each annual engineering celebration has changed from decade to decade, but “EnWeek” remains a popular and well-attended event on campus.

A Look Back at Engineering Week @Washington University in St. Louis

 

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Engineering Day bridge built on the quad, circa 1950

 

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More history about the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is available at University Archives in these and other collections:

Publications – School of Engineering 

School of Engineering Photograph Collection

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