The official letter received by a student who has become Zenithorian at Bute University reads as follows:
Congratulations! Your outstanding grades/stunning display of character/large monetary donation to the staff has awarded you the position of this year's ZENITHORIAN in the subject of [e.g. Rithmatic]! This is a great honor that has been bestowed upon you, and a great responsibility as well. In this, the FINAL SECTOR of your year at Bute University, YOU are in charge of the curriculum! YOU have been deemed wise/intelligent/good looking enough to determine what you and your classmates will be studying! YOU are in charge! The only rule is, you must follow the Veri'psofie philosophy. Other than that, ANYTHING ELSE GOES! Once again, congratulations! Your greatest months lie ahead of you.
[signed here by the headmaster]
Zenithorian is a distinction awarded in Visiveripian subjects. It has a counterpart in Ostroveripism, which is called "Apogean". Most universities have some form of Zenithorian or another, with a couple of notable exceptions: the University of Havernot instead awards its students "Pinata Colade", which applies to both Visiveripism and Ostroveripism, and Unsightly Academy near Odlucia, which doesn't believe in any form of compliment to its students.
The tradition dates back from as early as Aminfarances, whose best students were awarded the Zenith Spot at the top of the staggered seating rows in his lecture halls. We can determine this from the Secondary A Source, the students who were taught by Aminfarances directly. The Secondary A Source is therefore rather controversial as a valid source of reliable information because contacting the long-dead can have unpredictable results. On top of that, Aminfarances operated in the dark years before the reign of King Harandraff (as opposed to the dark years DURING his reign) and therefore the only people who were willing to become his/her students were fools and madmen, with perhaps a couple of exceptions. Being a student of Aminfarances was a risky and secretive business, and so those known as the "First" did not make their status publicly known. The only person that we know for sure made themselves into a Secondary A Source was Qib of Nifhar, a notorious liar in his day. Nevertheless, Qib's word is the best explanation we've got for the origin of this practice.
Many famous people have graduated as Zenithorians. For instance, one of the few things known about Jarvik Jarvik is that he claimed such an honor. Also, according to my collegue Brother Arfrus, every single member of the Bleague of Extraordinary Windbags graduated Zenithorian in at least one subject.
--Dfaran L'Eniarc 20:24, 18 November 2005 (EST)