Looking Back: Snippets from the first 15 years of the Evergreen and Gold yearbooks | Work of Arts
Looking Back: Snippets from the first 15 years of the Evergreen and Gold yearbooks | Work of Arts

Looking Back: Snippets from the first 15 years of the Evergreen and Gold yearbooks

Recent Arts grad Trenton Broens flips through the UAlberta Evergreen and Gold yearbooks and reflects on the history and legacy of past alumni

Written by Trenton Broens (`14 BA)
(Originally published on June 9, 2014 on YouAlberta)

On [June 4, 2014] I walked onto campus as an undergrad for the last time. Appropriately, I spent it much like I spent some of my first days as an undergraduate: standing in line at the Bookstore. The difference between now and then is that this time I wasn’t waiting, textbooks in hand, with my credit card ready to take a beating. This time I was waiting to pick up my degree and the green and black robes that I would wear to my convocation. [That day], I walked into the Jubilee a student and walked out of it an alumnus.

I’ve had the idea to go digging through the Evergreen and Gold yearbooks for a little while now. I first became familiar with the yearbooks in a history class in my third year. The class took turns flipping through the aging pages and laughing at all the silly fashion and odd moments in Alberta’s history. This time, when I ventured into Rutherford to look through the books, it wasn’t for a class and it wasn’t even as a student. Rather, it was as a recent grad… one more member of a long lineage of U of A alumni.

As I flipped through the yearbooks, I felt myself transported back almost a century. Though I never set foot on the campus of 1921 or never talked to the valedictorian of 1933, I felt as though I was a part of a history that I never actually lived. I hope a few of the [pages] I’ve chosen will inspire you and make you feel proud to be even a small part of a long history.

(click to flip to the next image in the gallery)

“The Evergreen and Gold has now become a feature of our University life,” wrote Henry Marshall Tory to the graduating class of 1926. “We look forward to it not because we have each year to write a word for it but because it has become a real expression of the things for which the University stands and as such is now a part of our history.”

88 years ago the U of A’s first president rightly identified the timelessness of the Evergreen and Gold yearbooks, [which] began publication in 1921 and capture snippets of the University’s long legacy. I looked at yearbooks… to get a sense of what students and campus were like in 1921. The odd thing is that despite the almost century between our graduations, the spirit of their words and experiences still carries on today.


Between the pages of the Evergreen and Gold yearbooks were moments that captured the history of the University. From the original sketches of its eventual growth, to the initial courses that were offered, the yearbooks captured not only campus life and the students that inhabited the U of A but also a history of the buildings and institutions themselves. My personal favourite page in this section is the one with the U of A cheers. While some of them are rightfully retired, a couple of them are still amazing. I’m not going to be on campus anymore, but can someone please bring these back?

T-Squares! Compass! Transit! Chains!
Engines! Bridges! Dynamos! Drains!
Coal Mines! Railways – Every Day!

Markets, Trade and Transportation.
Bonds, Accounts, Administration.
Money, Banking, Business, Law.
Commerce, Commerce, Rah, Rah, Rah!

Fae, facul, factus,
Fac faculty,
Arts in general
That’s the way we yell it,
This is the way we spell it –

Agriculture – Agriculture – Var-si-ty
Agrico, Biblico, Zip, Zap, Zee,
Triticum, Labrium, Bulbican, Bac
Incus, Humus, Igeneous, Lac.
Varsity, Varsity, U. of A.
Aggies. Aggies, Hip Hur-ray.

Lotions, Potions, fiat chart
We know ’em all Secundum Art.
Watch the spell binders,
We are the pill grinders
Hydrodizing, carbonizing, olea

U of A

The Final Wrap Up

… I hope you’ve enjoyed looking back at these U of A relics as much as I did. The Evergreen and Gold yearbooks grant you the opportunity to share memories with people you’ve never met and step foot onto a campus that is very different than the one you’re attending. It’s something that, in my last week as an undergrad, I’ll hold onto as I feel myself becoming a part of the University’s long history. Please take the opportunity to see the books for yourself — there’s dozens of volumes housed in south Rutherford on the fourth floor.

Re-published and edited with permission from YouAlberta. Read the original full post here.

Filed under: Alumni, General Arts
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