Alone, cresting the hill, the seeker stands either as a brave sentinel watching the distance and planning for the future; or less nobly, counts maybe as someone lost. The mission at UP embraces both sets of students, because most of us know that we humans alternate between those two roles from time to time. Hence the photo and the promise seen here (left).
Education seeks and opens a wider horizon. The University of Portland has leaned on this association, where ‘Upon the Bluff, high over the Willamette, the spires of learning reach up to the sky’ (as the Alma Mater has it).
There is also an old bit of picture-writing which connects learning and lamps. Partly because students have to ‘burn-the-midnight-oil’ putting in all-night study-sessions. Partly because education ‘lights the way’. The lamp is almost a ‘natural-symbol’ of the enlightening that accompanies education. And even the campus newspaper, The Beacon, has a ‘light-house’ theme; raised on the Bluff, pouring forth light to issue warning against danger and indicate the safe-path.
The pre-1940s University Seal positions the lamp in the foreground, looking out from the Bluff onto the Willamette and reaching to Mt. Hood against the far horizon. The 1935 Beacon masthead has an arc-lamp that radiates light all-around. The 2020 Student Leadership Awards symbol continues the theme showing an image of the street-lamps that dot today’s campus pathways.