OHIO Symbols


The Ceremonial Mace

For centuries the mace has been used as a symbol of authority.  Early maces were actually weapons of war similar to a club, and were often used by ecclesiastics who were forbidden to use other kinds of weapons.  In the early days of Cambridge and Oxford, religious and/or educational officials use maces to shepherd unruly students.  Today, the use of the mace is a representation of authority for royalty, legislatures, and universities around the world.

The late David R. Klahn, professor of art, designed the Ohio University Ceremonial Mace.  It is modeled after one of the balustrades of an original stairway of Cutler Hall, the University’s main administration building.  Cast in bronze, the mace is 46" long and weighs 16 pounds, and features the University seal and a stylized representation of the Cutler Hall cupola.

The mace is carried and displayed at official University ceremonies including Commencement.

The University Seal

The Ohio University seal was adopted from the seal of the State of Ohio. The circle of the Ohio seal represents a shield. A sheaf of wheat represents Ohio’s agricultural heritage, and a bundle of seventeen arrows represents Ohio as the seventeenth state to join the Union. Behind these are mountains, symbolizing strength and grandeur, and the rising sun, symbolizing eternal life and the dawn of a new day.

There are three inscriptions on the Ohio University seal which are translated as follows:

• Sigillum Universitatis Ohiensis: The Seal of Ohio University
• Prae Omnibus Virtus: Virtue Before All Things
• Religio Doctrina Civilitas: Religion, Learning, Civility

The University Ring

The University ring features the Seal of the University in oval form.  Students who have earned junior status are eligible to purchase and wear the ring.  Prior to graduation, the ring is worn with the rising sun pointing away from the wearer, representing a guiding light on the path to graduation.  After graduation, the ring is worn with the rising sun pointing toward the wearer, warming the heart and illuminating the accomplishment of graduating from Ohio University.  More here.