The Savitar is the University of Missouri yearbook, which began publication in 1894 and continued as a print publication through 2005. As the University yearbook, the Savitar offers photographs of administrators, faculty, and students, arranged by class, organization, and extracurricular activity. Other photographs include important campus events, such as athletic contests, parades, convocations, and commencements.
The name Savitar originates from the Sun-god of Rig-Veda, in Hindu mythology. Its root, su, means to dry or stimulate. Savitar and its alternate, Surya, denotes splendor of the luminary and irresistible energy - he is the god who sees all things and notes all the good and evil deeds of men. Nothing can withstand his will and age cannot touch him. Other definitions of the Sanskrit word Savitar include: (1) the sun, worshipped as the god of life and represented as drawn in a car of gold; (2) sometimes shown as a woman, Savatari, who sacrificed herself to save her husband who was trapped in the underworld; and (3) an important god, the sun in its life-giving aspect; (4) used for the Sun God from Vedic mythology; (5) quickener, impeiler, or enlivener.
As for the choosing of the name Savitar for the University yearbook, research shows that the aesthetic reasons for selection of the name by University students of 1894 were perhaps tempered by more prosaic ones. Among other things, the editors liked the size and sound of the word. The student editors probably got their idea for the title from Professor James Shannon Blackwell, professor of Semitic and modern languages at the University from 1886 to 1897, who was known as a student of Sanskrit.
This collection contains Savitar published from 1895-1903, 1905-1922. The collection also contains the Index, an 1891 yearbook produced by the M.S.U. Athletic Association. For Savitar published in other years, please visit University of Missouri Digital Library's Savitar Collection (1895-2005).
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