University Mace, Pendant, and Seal
The Mace, used as a weapon in medieval times, is employed today on many university campuses as a symbol of office. The Mace of the President of Bowling Green State University bears symbols and figures representing three related categories of human culture: areas of learning, the vicissitudes of culture, and the waxing and waning of human life.
Designed and created by Mr. Harold L. Hasselschwert, Assistant Professor of Art, the Mace weighs six and one-half pounds and is 27 inches long from the base to the head. It consists of four parts, the base, the shaft, the node, and the head. The head and node are of silver while the two shafts are blue and white sodalite.
The inner sleeve of the head is engraved and enameled silver, creating a moiré effect as a backdrop for figures representing the six branches of learning: drama, art, literature, music, science, and commerce.
New University Pendant
Professor Tom Muir completed a ceremonial medallion for Bowling Green State University President Sidney Ribeau. This medallion replaces the one created in 1964 (see above).
The medallion created by Muir symbolizes the values of Ribeau's administration: intellectual, spiritual and creative growth; learning community; inquiry and discovery; and collaboration and collective effort. The design features three interlocking rings, set inside a set of concentric rings and encircled on the outside by coils. This reflects the interconnectedness of the university. In the center is a rutilated quartz sphere, resembling a mini-universe, and representing the university's global perspective. Both Muir and Ribeau were cognizant of the need to have it be at once contemporary and yet reflect traditional design so that in future years it would not not become dated. That, too, reflects the mission of the university, to have both a solid foundation while looking forward. The entire medallion was fabricated from sheet and wire, rather than relying on casting processes. The resulting medallion was more integrity and reflects a higher level of technical accomplishment.
Historic University Pendant
A silver pendant containing the inaugural symbol and University seal was worn on ceremonial occasions by the President of Bowling Green State University, from the time of William T. Jerome to that of Sidney Ribeau. The medallion was created in 1964 by BGSU professor Carl D. Hall, depicting a "tree of knowledge" and symbolizing the university's growth at that time.
The inauguration symbol appears as an abstracted form within a bell-shaped triangle. The tree symbolizes growth and change. To some it may represent the Tree of Knowledge, with knowledge itself being characterized by growth and change.
The tree has a solid root structure that symbolizes stability and closeness to Mother Earth, or the necessary foundation in the fundamentals before branching out into full growth and change.
The official University Seal was designed by Leon Winslow in 1914 to follow the format of the State Seal of Ohio. When faced with the problem of designing a seal for the new Normal College, Winslow suddenly remembered that William Creighton had felt the new Normal College was the rising sun of a great new institution of learning. He therefore decided to pattern his seal after the State Seal. It was, in contrast to the state seal, divided into four parts, the mountain range, the brilliant sun; the bundle of 17 arrows representing Ohio’s rank in the Union, and the sheaf of wheat to signify the great agricultural industry of the state. Around the outside of the main design were printed the words "Bowling Green State Normal College."
Several changes in the lettering have taken place in the seal, as the State Normal College became a State College and finally a University. In January 1958, Glenn Christian, University purchasing officer made a few minor revisions in the seal, including the addition of the buckeye, the state tree, and the carnation, the state flower. He also made minor changes in the sun’s rays, the fringe lines, and the type of lettering used.
The next time you walk by the University Seal keep this in mind:
- If you stand on the seal at midnight and kiss your sweetheart, you will soon be married.
- If you and your sweetheart are holding hands and let go as you walk around opposite sides of the seal, you will soon break up
- If you pass to the right of the seal, you will do well on your next test.
- If you pass to the left of the seal, you will fail your next test.