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University Friars records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 154

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of Friars publications, directories, and rosters.

Material is organized by accession and includes the following material: (lists are not comprehensive)

Accession 10654: includes office files and newsletters as well as bound editions of the Friars Scroll, no. 31-76, January, 1943 - January, 1965. There is also a Friars Directory from 1959.

Accession 1996.185: includes bound editions of the Friars Scroll from 1942-1969, as well as an undated friar's directory.

Accession 2005.24: contains a bound roster compiled as part of a 2002 project to make available information on matriculated University of Oregon friars.


  • 1942-2002


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

In 1910, a few seniors who were prominent on campus formally founded the Society of Friars. The organization has existed since that time, with varying periods of strength or inactivity, and shrouded in some mystery and secrecy, as “an upper-class society in good fellowship.”

Each spring, a few junior students are tapped to fill out the ranks of campus Friars for fall. Occasionally a faculty member is tapped – one who is respected and liked as a teacher and who has also taken a special interest in students and student affairs. No requirements for membership have ever been published, but it has been observed, “that neither a high scholarship record nor high student office alone seem(s) to qualify, but recognition of service and leadership, past and potential.”

The names of members are inscribed each year on heavy metal scrolls or shields, which, according to Friars’ custom, are present whenever Friars gather. Through the years, the society has observed its traditional ceremonies during Homecoming and during Junior (or Spring Parents’) Weekend. During these ceremonies, black-hooded, black-robed figures carrying the engraved shields are observed marching and tapping new members and holding their banquets.

Beginning in 1942, when war had scattered the membership across the length and breadth of the earth’s continents, a Friar began the tradition of a periodic Friar newsletter sent to all known Friars overseas and at home. In this newsletter Friars provide news of each other. A section headed “Campus News” brings Friars news of the university, and a column “From the Actives” describes the activities of campus Friars.

In the years since World War II, Friars on campus have been involved in campus politics, in getting out the vote in general elections where matters concerning higher education are presented to voters, and in raising funds for projects such as the Erb Memorial Union. Friars who graduate from the University of Oregon have gone on to distinguish themselves in government, public service, and the professions.

In the late 1960s student interest in campus organizations dwindled in a period of time when the Vietnam War was occupying the energies of many campuses. The Friars Society fell into decline, and for a period of time in the late ‘60s and ‘70s no new campus Friars were tapped.

In 1980, the Friars Society revitalized. The black robes and brass shields were seen once again as active Friars again marched on campus, tapping new members, volunteering for activities important to the quality of the University of Oregon, and linking campus Friars with Friars who have graduated.



1.5 linear feet (3 containers) : 3 manuscript boxes

Language of Materials



University Friars is a University of Oregon campus organization that promotes campus leadership and volunteerism. The collection consists of Friars publications, directories, and rosters.


Material within this collection has been organized by accession. This organization reflects the fact that the collection has been acquired in increments over time. This organization is also based on the decision not to merge the various accessions and organize them as a whole at this point in time, give the fact that future accruals are anticipated and/or that this organization is deemed sufficient for access.

Researchers should note that materials within a series or accession may overlap and/or relate to materials found in other accessions or initially processed materials. For example, correspondence may be found in all or only some groupings. In order to locate all relevant material within this collection, researchers may need to consult each accession.

Researchers should also note that similar materials can be arranged differently in each accession, depending on how the material is organized upon receipt or during initial processing. For instance, correspondence is one accession may be arranged alphabetically, while correspondence in another accession is arranged chronologically.

Processing Information

Collection processed by staff.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

This collection received a basic level of processing including minimal organization and rehousing. Multiple accession(s) for the collection have not been merged or organized as a whole. Each accession is described separately.

Description information is drawn in part from information supplied with the collection and initial surveys of the contents.

University Friars Records
Complete Description
Austin Munsell
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English
Funding for production of this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA