Respect the "Seal"

Posted by Amy the Archivist on March 16, 2011 in

I often browse through old issues of The Polytechnic looking for answers to burning questions. Today's question brought me to the 1925 issues. Sometimes I happen to read headlines, articles or ads that make me smile. Allow me to share my latest find. :)

"The Rensselaer Seal"

No college can boast of an emblem more symbolic of its ideals and purposes, than can Rensselaer. The Rensselaer seal has stood for years as the emblem of the Engineering school which has offered to America over a century of service.

At present, however, a general misunderstanding seems to exist among the student body as to the proper use of this emblem. Rensselaer tradition has always heretofore guarded preciously the right to wear the seal, and this right has been reserved to those who stood the brunt of four years training, who were truly Rensselaer's representatives. The rod and target were allowed for the use of students, while none but alumni were to use the full insignia.

Now, in either defiance or ignorance of this tradition, many thoughtless undergraduates have taken to wearing the seal. It is nothing unusual to see a freshman running through the campus with the coat of arms on his slicker, or to see it painted on the rear of a dilapidated Ford.

No student can be compelled to regulate his wearing apparel to suit others, but with due regard to the dignity of our emblem, with proper respect for the alumni body, and with some consideration for Rensselaer traditions, can we not discourage and eventually overthrow this promiscuous use of the emblem that means "Rensselaer" to all the world of science and engineering?

The Rensselaer Polytechnic, December 9, 1925

I suppose we've been 'desecrating' the emblem ever since! Needless to say, the Rensselaer seal is now printed everywhere.


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