Burning of Anna
Dates of ceremonies: 8 June 1883 - 1930s
Origins: At the approach of exams in 1883, the Junior Class were so worried about passing the Analytical Geometry exam that they made a vow to Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, to offer a burnt sacrifice should they pass the course. When most of the class did indeed pass, they erected a funeral pyre, indulged in beer and cigars, held a funeral procession through the Old Arts Building, and burned copies of the Analytical Geometry textbook, as well as course exams and assignments, at midnight.
History: The tradition continued for years by each Sophomore class (after UNB went to a four-year programme instead of the previous three years) at UNB, marking the completion of the analytical geometry course by burning their copies of the textbook, commonly referred to as "Anna," and giving a suitable funeral oration. In 1912 not only was the textbook burned, but the college gatehouse was as well. Female students also performed their own ceremony in 1926 by "requisitioning" a baby carriage, placing copies of "Anna" within it, and set the whole contraption on fire. The ceremony was discontinued in the 1930s, when analytical geometry was no longer a required subject for all students.
- UNB Scrapbooks (UA RG 100), 1930.
- UA Case 128; Section 2; File 1.
- Montague, Susan. A Pictorial History of the University of New Brunswick. Fredericton: University of New Brunswick, 1992, p. 47.
- University Monthly (UA RG 84), vol. 33, no. 4, January 1914, p. 176.
© UNB Archives & Special Collections, 2012