At the beginning of Founders’ week each year, students set out on a clue-filled hunt for the Crook, a large wooden walking stick carved with the names of those who have found it in years past.
What is its significance?
In 1926, this unique tradition was started by seniors at Alabama College (University of Montevallo) who felt the juniors needed to make the transition from a junior to an “exalted senior.” The senior women hid the Crook somewhere on campus for the juniors to find. Due to co-education and less distinction between classes, this tradition has changed. Now, “Finding the Crook” is open to all students and serves as an important part of the history and tradition of the University of Montevallo. Each year the crook is hidden on campus with clues to its location released each day leading to Founders’ Day.
The Original Crook
The original Crook from 1926 is encased in a glass display in the Office of Alumni Affairs in Reynolds Hall. In recent years, clues are released through email and social media until it is found.
The finder is then recognized at Founders’ Day, presented with UM prizes and allowed to carve his/her name onto the Crook, becoming a part of one of the oldest traditions on campus.
To learn more about the history of this tradition, check out the book Alabama College 1896-1969 by Lucille Griffith.