Centre Seal


Points of Interest

The Centre Seal

The Centre Seal (1991), Doctrina Lux Mentis (latin) meaning learning is the light of the mind. In 1990 under President Michael F. Adams (1988-1997) a Save Old Centre drive was launched and renovation began. On October 11, 1991 Old Centre was rededicated. A legend has sprung up about the circular brass College seal embedded in the brick walkway in front of Old Centre. The belief is that if two students kiss on the seal at midnight, they’ll end up marrying after graduation. This piece of folklore hasn’t been scientifically tested, but the proliferation of double alum weddings reported in the alumni magazine would lend support to the notion.

Traditions have always played a major role in life at Centre—and one beloved tradition received attention on the national stage.

NBC Nightly News (2012) featured the Honor Walk in its annual segment on commencement addresses and traditions across the country.

Over 200 colleges and universities submitted tapes to NBC Nightly News of their own college traditions and commencement speeches, and Centre was one of roughly twenty schools chosen to be featured in the segment.

“Centre College graduates in Danville, Ky., walk through an iconic campus building to present a coin engraved with the Centre seal to the person who has made the greatest impact on their senior year,” an article accompanying the video on NBC’s website says.

Honor Walk has been a Centre tradition since 2002, when President John Roush gave each member of the class of 2003 a talent—a coin with Old Centre on one side and the College seal on the other. Seniors have all year to deliberate which person—or more than one person—to give their talent to. On the evening before Commencement, seniors walk through Old Centre—from the front door, through the foyer, out the back door and down the steps, stopping in front of the seal. There, the tribute is passed to the honoree, someone who made an indelible impact on that student’s college career.
Seniors in the past have chosen to give their talents to parents, professors, coaches, loved ones and classmates. The unique tradition allows students to publicly acknowledge those that had the biggest effect on their success at Centre.