In This Issue
Legacy of College Royal Continues
Student-run open house set to welcome 30,000 visitors
BY REBECCA KENDALL
|This year’s College Royal program includes a demonstration of synchronized swimming by members of U of G’s competitive team and local swimmers. It runs Saturday at 1:15 p.m. in the red pool in the Athletics Centre. See the story about U of G’s Synchronized Swimming Club. Photo by Martin Schwalbe|
The theme of College Royal 2009, “Continuing a Royal Legacy,” has special meaning for this year’s celebrant, Heather Peart, a fourth-year animal science student. That’s because she, too, is continuing a legacy of sorts. Her father, Doug, was College Royal president in 1978.
A lot has changed at U of G since then, but many of the events her dad presided over more than 30 years ago continue today, including the dog, cat and livestock shows; the square-dancing and flower-arranging competitions; and the chemistry magic show.
As celebrant, Peart serves as the official representative and major spokesperson for College Royal events, which are expected to draw some 30,000 visitors to campus March 21 and 22. In preparation for this role, she spoke to a number of Guelph graduates from various decades to learn more about the legacy of what is billed as North America’s largest student-run campus open house.
“When I called my 4-H judging coach, who attended Guelph in the 1950s, he spoke about the importance of Conversat, which grew to become the modern College Royal Ball,” she says. “He could even remember all the things he judged in the judging competition and entered in the forage and seed competition. It goes to show how passionate people are about College Royal. We’re celebrating the royal legacy, and the people are the legacy.”
Another graduate told her about Curtain Call Productions’ adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein play Oklahoma in 1978. U of G students renamed it Uglahoma. The show depicted the break between Guelph’s founding colleges and the University of Toronto.
This year, Curtain Call Productions presents Fame March 19 to 21 at War Memorial Hall. Showtime is 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Central Student Association Office in Room 274 of the University Centre.
College Royal weekend also features a tractor rodeo, logging competition, spelling bee and pancake flip, Gryphon Jeopardy and Ultimate Frisbee, and dozens of club and college exhibits across campus.
A special lecture series runs throughout the weekend. Topics this year are “The Science of Food” with Prof. Massimo Marcone of the Department of Food Science, “Eating for Energy” with Erin Armitage of the Health and Performance Centre and “Are We Entering the Post-Antibiotic Era?” with Prof. John Prescott of the Department of Pathobiology.
Over in Zavitz Hall, fine art students will stage their 41st annual print show and sale. It runs March 20 and 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and March 22 from noon to 5 p.m. in Room 207.
College Royal weekend also offers a number of activities designed especially for children. These include food science milkshakes, pop-bottle rockets, boat races, teddy bear surgery and Old Macdonald’s New Farm.
“After participating in many events at College Royal over the past few years and talking with enthusiasts from the 1950s to the present, I believe the passion for this event has become the legacy of College Royal,” says Peart.
“I also want to draw attention to the hundreds of student volunteers who put a lot of hours into making this event as successful as it is year after year. It takes a lot of planning and dedication. I think the volunteers should be recognized for all the amazing work they’re doing.”
The weekend open house runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.collegeroyal.uoguelph.ca.