Traditions - Honors Vases and Medallions
During the 1998-1999 academic year, at an early Student Advisory Board meeting, Molly Barker ’00 proposed that graduating Honors students should receive “vases” like the ones shown here:
As you can see, they are labeled with the class year and the Honors logo. They are hand-made by local potters and embellished with the Honors Logo modified slightly to incorporate the year of graduation (rather than 1935, the founding year of the Honors Program at Maine).
The first Honors Vases were presented to Honors graduates in 1999. Since then, each graduating Honors student has been presented with a vase at the annual Honors Celebration. The Honors College has also presented a few former graduates with vases as a token of our appreciation.
[And we know they are all watertight because we test them....]
In the past, Honors graduates were given a double gold cord to wear at commencement to signify the completion of the Honors Program. However, as more and more honor societies on campus presented cords to their graduates, it became increasingly difficult to distinguish Honors graduates from other students. Shortly after the Honors Vases were instituted as a graduation gift, we endeavored to find a solution to this problem. The result is the Honors Medallion.
These medallions are presented to graduating Honors students at the Honors Celebration. The student’s thesis advisor bestows the Honors Medallion to her/him at the ceremony. Engraved on the back of each Medallion is the student’s name and class year.
At Commencement, the President of the University of Maine recognizes our students wearing these medallions and what they represent, instructing all students graduating from the Honors College to stand and receive congratulations from the audience and their peers.