University should utilize official emblem more often
Letter to the Editor
I see it every day, and so do you. Even though you’ve been enrolled for over a month, you probably cease to notice it. It is an unavoidable sight and is on everything from buses, laundry bags, windows of dormitories and on the red shirts and caps many of us wear walking to class. It’s somewhere on the newspaper you are reading right now. I can’t say that I hate the bold red logo, our capital R. It’s large, it’s bright, it stands out, its serif gives it formality but being a single letter, it’s actually simple. As a senior I have found my mailbox recently saturated with advertisements for class rings. Out of curiosity I looked at the options and was annoyed that every ring setting featured that large capital letter, which I already see twenty times a day. Most other schools have their class rings engraved with their seals — shields, scrolls, swords, tomes, torches, etc. surrounded by Latin mottos. Though our school does have a wonderful emblem, it is not as ubiquitous as that single red letter. If you haven’t taken a good look at Rutgers’ lamppost flags, or some of its lecterns, you should. Our school seal is a luminous sun with projecting rays, wrapped around by a Latin motto and then our name and founding year. The sun at the center represents enlightenment. The Latin motto, “Sol iustitiae et occidentem illustra,” which translates to “Sun of righteousness, shine upon the West also,” a humble plea from when New Jersey was nearer to the periphery of the frontier and not the center of the Universe as it is today. Rutgers changed a lot in its 247-year history. It has grown from a small all-male Dutch Reform Church seminary on the Raritan River to The State University of New Jersey — a diverse research institution with multiple campuses around the state where thousands of students graduate each year. In the words of our alma mater, I hope we “evermore shall” retain our school seal. A reminder of not only how we began, but also of what we should be: a bright star with far-reaching rays.
I don’t mean to brand our capital R as a scarlet letter. That bold red letter is a good logo for us to wear when we battle against the other Big Ten, but on my college ring and on my diploma I want an emblem that communicates that this University is more than a football school — it is a proud and prestigious institution as old as this country. Call it Tory sensibility, but “R” University community would gain from the increased visibility and use of the illustrious and elegant symbol that is our official school seal.
Neil McGettigan is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in history and philosophy.