Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Commencement 2014
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Rensselaer Traditions

Class Banner
In conjunction with the Office of Alumni Relations, the senior class designs a banner that represents their years at Rensselaer.

The Class of 2014 Banner will be officially unveiled at senior brunch, and will be seen again at reunions and other Rensselaer events.

Amos Eaton Chair
The Amos Eaton chair was respectfully presented to Professor Amos Eaton by the students of Rensselaer during the winter term 1838-39. Known as the Amos Eaton chair, it was donated to the Institute by the family of Amos Eaton, the first Senior Professor of the Institute, to commemorate Rensselaer’s 125th Anniversary.

In recent years, the chair is used by the president at formal Rensselaer events.

The Rensselaer Mace
Created in 1999 for the first time in Rensselaer’s history, the mace is carried at the head of all academic processions and is prominently displayed during academic ceremonies. The modern mace grew out of an ancient tradition to use it to preserve order. It can be carried before a high functionary as a symbol of authority.

Recalling our founder’s Dutch ancestry, the tulip-shaped top of the Rensselaer mace is made of silver with the Rensselaer seal in the middle of the tulip bloom, which is also a symbol of prosperity. The shaft of the Rensselaer mace is made of ebony. This mace was made in the workshop of Rebecca Smith and Anton Pruden in Ditchling, a small village in East Sussex, England.

The Rensselaer Flag
The Rensselaer flag combines historic and contemporary elements to represent the Institute’s origins and the present.

The flag consists of the Rensselaer name superimposed on the coat of arms of Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, the great-great grandfather of Rensselaer’s founder, Stephen Van Rensselaer. The moline in the upper left quarter represents the heraldic sign of the Van Rensselaers. The three coronets in the lower left quarter are the arms of the Van Wenckums, the family of Kiliaen Van Rensselaer’s paternal grandmother. In the upper right quarter are the arms of Maria Pafraet, Kiliaen Van Rensselaer’s mother. In the lower right quarter are the arms of Kiliaen Van Rensselaer’s maternal grandmother.

The Rensselaer flag, created in conjunction with the Class of 1994 gift, was flown for the first time in May 1994, when it was raised in front of the Houston Field House for the 188th Commencement exercises.

Questions? Please contact us at commencement@rpi.edu.

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