Autumn 2016 / Life on Campus

Where did this misspelled moniker come from?

Back profile of a student wearing a black leather jacket with "U of T ENGINEERING SKULE" lettering

Photo: Courtesy of University of Toronto Engineering

It’s well known that the U of T engineering community goes by the quirky name of “Skule” – but why? The roots lie in the School of Practical Science – the predecessor to the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. Almost a century ago, engineering students dubbed it “the Skule” – playing on the idea that they were rotten spellers. Some found this derisive, but the cheeky moniker took hold, and intentional misspellings carried on throughout the history of U of T engineering – most notably, in the Lady Godiva Bnad.

The first recorded use of Skule was in a 1943 programme for Skule Nite – the engineering students’ annual revue. The Engineering Society trademarked the name in 1984, and now it is synonymous with U of T engineers and their fun-loving frame of mind. “Skule embodies the spirit and energy that defines the student and alumni communities. It’s the work hard, play hard attitude,” says Sonia De Buglio, director of alumni relations at Applied Science and Engineering. “It is both a noun, in that it is the U of T engineering community, and an adjective in the way it describes the intangible spirit and energy.”

Watch: “What is Skule(TM)?”

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