The Annual Day of Student Recognition
Learn about the various awards!
History of DSR:
In the year 1900, only 7 years after Montana State College was founded, the senior
men and women proceeded across campus in their caps and gowns as part of their graduation
ceremony. During this processional, seniors stopped at various buildings where department
heads and top students gave speeches.
In 1912, wands wrapped with blue and gold ribbon were presented to the graduating senior women who then participated in a “Wand Dance” to symbolize their departure.
In May of 1923, the campus of Montana State College witnessed its first Women’s Day. Under the direction of Una B. Herrick, the first Dean of Women, this unique Women’s Day Ceremony was established and continued as an annual tradition. During those early programs, physical education and physical fitness were emphasized, with awards going to outstanding female college athletes. At that time, the senior wand dance was incorporated into Women’s Day as the “Blue and Gold Processional”, and was performed by the “Cap and Gown Society” (formed in June 1920).
In 1927, the Cap and Gown Society became the 27th chapter of Mortar Board in the country. Mortar Board was made up of the top 5 junior women. Mortar Board's male counterpart, Septemviri, began in 1920 as well. Septemviri is Latin for Seven Men. Septemviri was awarded to the top 7 outstanding junior men, on the basis of scholarship, leadership, activities and personality. The year 2020 will mark the 100th anniversary of Mortar Board and Septemviri on the MSU campus.
The Original Women’s Day has changed significantly over its long history. The emphasis on physical fitness and athletic achievements declined and the program evolved into a campus wide event recognizing students for their achievements in leadership, service and scholarship.
In 1977, for the first time, awards recognizing men were included with major awards
for men added in 1982.
The name was changed in 1983 to the Montana State University Day of Student Recognition.