In 1877, all 12 members of Albion College's senior class launched the Senior Class Horn tradition. The mission of the horn was to "remain in possession of the class that could best rally to its rumbling blare." (The Pleiad, May 29, 1923) The horn was commissioned by an Albion resident and was presented to the College after its completion. The large tin megaphone, seven feet long and painted with Albion's school colors, was then passed on to the class of 1878 with a warning to never let an underclassman handle the horn.
For the following 20 years, the horn was coveted by many Albion College organizations and was therefore the subject of numerous raids. The battered sides of the horn are signs of its eventful past. It was blown in the ears of professors and stolen many times—one class even managed to hide the horn for over a year. The Senior Horn was also sounded at sporting events, lectures, and at Commencement ceremonies prior to the speech of the guest lecturer.
In 1896, the senior class decided to surrender their rights to the horn and present it to the Albion College Oratorical Association. For years, it was then used as the trophy for the winner of the prestigious class oratory contests. For each contest, a metal plate bearing the name of the winner was mounted on the horn. After the discontinuation of the oratory contests in the mid-1950s, the horn was abandoned and stored in the Albion College Archives.
The horn was refurbished in 2000 and was dedicated. In 2003, as the senior class gift, the showcase and plaque currently displaying the Senior Class Horn were mounted in the Kellogg Center. The class horn tradition continues as it is sounded by a graduating senior prior to the student speaker at Commencement exercises.
Photograph: Jordan Raiford, assisted by Sam Salhaney, sounds the Senior Horn at Commencement 2012.