by Becki Gray
Former Senior Vice President, John Locke Foundation
When I was student at Queens College (now Queens University of Charlotte) one of my favorite holiday traditions was the annual Boars Head Dinner that originated in 1933. Several weeks ahead of the event the president of the college sent a fancy invitation to the students. On the prescribed evening, the dining hall was transformed into a holiday wonderland with candle light and greenery. We all dressed up. With much fanfare and trumpeting, a procession of fellow students dressed in old English attire ushered in a real boar’s head on a platter decorated with greenery, apples, oranges and such. The Queens College choir sang the same Latin carol used at Queens College in Oxford England. As the procession reached the center of the hall, the legend of the boar’s head was read from a scroll.
Legend has it that 500 years ago a student was walking on the grounds of Queens College at Oxford reading from a volume of Aristotle when he was attacked by a wild boar. The student shoved the book down the boar’s throat and saved himself. The moral of the story: books and education are life’s strongest defense.
I love the tradition and it brings back sweet memories of college days and friendships. I am grateful every day for the education I received at Queens College. It’s also a reminder that education is life’s strongest defense and the key to success and happiness lies in education. The John Locke Foundation spends alot of time and resources advocating for education – ensuring every student has the best opportunity that works best for them, that good teachers are in every classroom and that money is spent well and wisely. You might say it’s a long standing tradition with us.
After the Boar’s Head legend is read, the president of the college accepts it and declares, “let the merriment and feasting reign in the hall.”
Merry Christmas to you and yours.