Forever Green and Gold

“The choice of colors for the university accepted at this meeting—Green and Gold—are peculiarly adapted for the purpose for which they have been accepted. The choice of this beautiful and at the same time infrequent combination was based on an appropriate symbolism—the Green representing the wide stretches of verdant prairie—and flanked by the deep spruce forests of the Province—while the Gold prefigures the golden harvests that are Alberta’s boast. Referring back to the old accepted symbolism of colours, the choice was still found to have been made with discerning art; for Green there is the symbol of hope, of joyous optimism, and Gold of the shining light of knowledge. Both are certainly applicable to the new University.” —Minutes of the first University of Alberta Senate Meeting, October 13, 1908

It was Marion Kirby Alexander, wife of Classics professor William Hardy Alexander, who chose the evergreen and gold colours of the University of Alberta. Walking with her husband one day in Edmonton’s river valley, Marion exclaimed, “There it is! I’ve got it!” When William asked her what she meant, she replied, “The colours. I was discussing only yesterday with some of the girls what should be the Alberta colours. Don’t you see them? Why, the whole view cries out: Green and Gold!”

On October 13, 1908, the U of A Senate approved Mrs. Alexander’s colours, and for (nearly) 106 years Green and Gold have been the official colours of the University of Alberta. On September 19, the U of A will mark the occasion with its fourth annual Green and Gold Day. Green and Gold Day is opportunity for all members of the U of A community—students, staff, faculty, and alumni—to show their school spirit by wearing the university’s colours.

I am a proud alumnus of the University of Alberta. I am also a proud staff member. I took part in Green and Gold Day for the first time last year, and will be involved again this year. They’re even allowing me to be in charge of this megaphone again.

Photo credit: William Lau

Photo credit: William Lau

This year, I want to do my part in expanding the festivities beyond the main campus. I’m therefore challenging a bunch of my fellow alumni—some who work on campus, and some who don’t—to wear their green and gold this Friday. And I’m challenging them to challenge their friends and fellow alumni who work off campus to do the same. It can be official U of A swag, or it can just be the university’s colours. It can even be a GUBA or Patches stuffed animal. It doesn’t matter. Show the pride, spread the pride, and the challenge will be completed. 

The Challenge
1) On September 19, show your pride and wear the Green and Gold
2) Take a photo, and share it on Instagram and/or Twitter using the #UAlberta hashtag
3) Encourage 3-5 friends and alumni you know to do the same

The Challenged: Alumni who are also staff members
Vanessa Grabia, Debbie Yee, Jason Cobb, Cynthia Strawson, Chloe Chalmers, Sarah Polkinghorne, Lindsay McLeod, Jane Powell Leadbeater, Kristan Morin, Jennifer Pascoe, Alexis Ksiazkiewicz

The Challenged: Alumni
Karen Unland, Randy Boissonault, Pam Ryan, Lana Cuthbertson, Kris Kasawski, Heather Clark, Christine Rogerson, Andrea Lauder, Sarah Kelly, Paula Simons, Dave Cournoyer, Kyla Fischer, Karen Wichuk, Michael Janz, Ellen Ogilvy, Sheamus Murphy, Erin Loxam, Kiri Wysynski, Garth Bishop, Stewart McDonough

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