Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Order of the Spoon Records, 1928-1939

Historical Note:

The Order of the Spoon, or Ordo Cochlearis, was an organization founded to foster sound scholarship and promote graduate study, including teaching, writing, and research, among doctoral degree holders on the faculty at Oregon Agricultural College (OAC). Established by the Triad Club in 1927, the organization became a separate and independent entity in May of 1929 and the majority of the Ph.D faculty were members. The Order took its name from the history of scholarship; it was derived from the custom of medieval scholars to wear a wooden spoon as the insignia of their calling. The group's committee officers held titles of Chief Spoon Bearer, Assistant Chief Spoon Bearer, and Ladler.

On the day of an Order meeting, members often met at one campus location, dressed in hoods and gowns (academic regalia), each carrying a spoon that was their totem. The group then paraded with much fanfair and frivolity to the location of their meeting, at which members took part in a banquet while speakers gave presentations on the state of scholarship at the College. New members -- new Doctors residing within the "realm" of Oregon Agricultural College -- were inducted into the Order at these meetings.

Notable individuals associated with the organization were Othniel R. Chambers, George W. Peavy, William Edmund Milne, Francois A. Gilfillan, Willibald Weniger, and Clair V. Langton.


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