These four objects represent the traditions and ideals that Lehigh upholds with the inauguration of its newest president, Joseph J. Helble ’82.
The seal of the university depicts a sun over a book on which a heart is superimposed. Surrounding the image are the words, Homo minister et interpres naturae, or “Man, the servant and interpreter of nature.” The words are surrounded by 65 stars, representing the year Lehigh was founded, 1865.
In Asa Packer’s days at Lehigh, the walking stick symbolized status and leadership. This century-old symbol is awarded to today’s leaders of Lehigh to uphold them as they navigate challenges and help shape the future of the university.
Widely recognized as a symbol of medieval university officials, the university scepter was originally carved from wood. It evolved into the silver mace that is used today at official ceremonies to symbolize order and academic dignity. The Lehigh mace was a gift from the Centennial Class of 1966. The oak staff was designed by the New York City artist Louis F. Glasier. It is 38 inches long and is surmounted by a sterling silver Lehigh seal, which includes a gold relief “book of knowledge” and a pale-yellow topaz representing the “light of truth.”
The chain of office medallion, the official symbol of the university and the Office of the President, is worn by the president at all academic ceremonies. It symbolizes the eminence, authority and responsibility of the university’s highest office. This silver medallion was a gift from the Class of 1979.