The T.I.L.K.A. Society, commonly called Tilka, was founded in 1889 as a ribbon society at the University of Virginia after the model of Eli Banana. The name of the society is said to reference "five mystical words," though these are unknown.[1] The society rose in prominence after the Elis were suppressed in the late 1890s, capturing most of the student offices.[2]

Like Eli Banana, the Tilkas combined a focus on student leadership with a social function. Dabney notes that from the 1920s to the 1950s both organizations regularly sponsored formal dances at the university.[3] The organizations were sufficiently integrated into student life by the late 1940s that a Virginia Glee Club album of University songs included the Tilka anthem ("Come Fill Your Glasses Up for T.I.L.K.A.").[4]

The Tilkas are still active at UVA; a 2004 article in the Cavalier Daily describes their "tapping" ceremony.[5]

Members[edit | edit source]

Notable members of T.I.L.K.A. included founding member and UVA Law professor Raleigh C. Minor,[6] past UVA football quarterback and alumni association president Gilbert J. Sullivan;[7] and University president Frank Hereford.[8]

Virginia Glee Club members of T.I.L.K.A. also included:

References[edit | edit source]

General references[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Dabney, 37-38.
  2. Bruce, IV:99, 339-340.
  3. Dabney, 89-90, 305.
  4. "Virginia U. Band and Glee Club Put Songs 'On the Record'". Washington Post: pp. L7. 1951-04-22. 
  5. Meeks, Brett (2004-11-23). "Ribbons and Trashcans". Cavalier Daily. http://www.cavalierdaily.com/news/2004/nov/23/ribbons-and-trashcans/. 
  6. Dabney, 123.
  7. Dabney, 398.
  8. Dabney, 595.
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