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The Peregrinus

Alec, Perry’s Counterpart

Like the law students, UT’s engineering students also claim a "patron saint." Alexander Frederick Claire, affectionately called Alec, is a wooden statute of a man holding a cup aloft.Alec 1918 Slightly younger than Perry, Alec began his career as the engineering student’s patron saint in 1908.

On April Fool’s Day, 1908, Joe H. Gill, an engineering student, and several friends borrowed the statute from Jacoby’s Beer Garden. The following day Gill presented the statute to an assembly of engineering students outside of the main building, declaring Alec their new patron saint and tracing his lineage back to the Ancient Egypt, Rome, and Babylon. On April Fool’s Day of 1909, the engineering students held another assembly in front of the Main Building. This year, however, engineering student leader Alf Toombs traced Alec’s lineage even further back to the Garden of Eden, and formally christened the statute Alexander Frederick Claire.

Sometimes friends and sometimes enemies, Alec has shared the spotlight with Perry. Often caught in the middle of the law-engineering rivalry, Alec has been kidnapped, maimed, and mutilated but, like the Peregrinus, lives on.

Alexander Frederic Claire presently resides in the Richard W. McKinney Engineering Library.

Read more about Alexander Frederick Claire on the Cockerell School of Engineering website.

See more images of Alec and learn more about the history of the Engineering Department on the UT Libraries website.