Knighting Ceremony

A student leans over to kiss the Blarney Stone while being knighted by St. Patrick at the knighting ceremony.

Friday, March 17, 2017
5-6 p.m.

Registration for the 2017 Knighting Ceremony will close March 15, 2017.

Click here for application information.

One of the two Engineers’ Week events attended by St. Patrick himself, the Knighting Ceremony, will commence at 5 p.m. on the last Friday of E-Week, at the Shamrock between Lafferre and Switzler halls. This event is free. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Since 1906, seniors graduating from MU with degrees in engineering have been made Knights and Ladies of St. Patrick. The ceremony opens when the audience rises as two engineering students escort St. Patrick to the stage. Before knighting the current students, St. Patrick bestows the title of Honorary Knight to active engineers and others who have made significant contributions. The first Honorary Knight, Professor Greene, was knighted in 1907. Other Honorary Knights include astronaut Buzz Aldrin and President Harry Truman.

After the Honorary Knights have been honored, the students are knighted. The Blarney Stone, a stone with ancient carvings, rests at St. Patrick’s feet. As each student’s name is called, he or she crosses the stage, kneels before St. Patrick and kisses the Blarney Stone. The patron saint of engineering knights each student with his shillelagh. The students rise as Knights and Ladies of St. Patrick. The first Lady of St. Patrick, the female equivalent of a knight, was civil engineer Ada Wilson, the first woman to graduate from MU with a degree in engineering. She was knighted in 1907.

At the end of the ceremony, St. Patrick is escorted out as the new knights and the audience bow to the saint. This tradition is known as the Grand Kowtow. It began in 1905, a year before the Knighting Ceremony was introduced as part of E-week.

Knighting Ceremony Eligibility

Anyone graduating from the College of Engineering in May 2017 or December 2017 is eligible to be knighted. This application will be used to determine which of the levels of Knighthood you will receive. The levels of knighthood are based primarily upon involvement in Engineers’ Week, student leadership in Engineering organizations, and to a small extent, academic achievement.


Registration for the 2017 Knighting Ceremony closes at 5 p.m. March 15, 2017.

Dress for participants is business formal. All seniors graduating with an engineering degree from MU are eligible to be Knights of St. Patrick.

This is one of the events where department participation points will be tallied. A total will be taken at the end of the week, and the department that shows the most spirit during E-week will be announced at St. Patrick’s Ball.

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