Traditions & Historical Information | University of Portland

Traditions & Historical Information

Christus Magister Medal

Christus Magister Medal

The Christus Magister Medal is the University's highest honor, conferred upon those men and women whose lives have illustrated and enhanced the University's Mission, now more than a century old.

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Coat of Arms & Chain of Office

chain of office

The Coat of Arms is a green shield bearing a silver cross moline and crossed anchors. The President's Chain of Office symbolizes authority and the unity a university forges with its diverse communities.

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Memorial Mace

graduation stage set up with large wooden mace

The ceremonial mace is a traditional emblem of the authority of the President and faculty at institutions of higher learning and is usually carried by the grand marshal in academic processions.

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Academic Dress

two priests dressed in medieval commencement outfits

The history of academic dress dates back to the Middle Ages when many of the scholars were also clerics and wore the costume of the monastic orders. The costumes worn today are all traditional and their colors, trimmings, and patterns interpret the degree, the field of learning, and the institution that conferred the degree.

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Academic Procession

Graduate high fives another student holding his degree.

The academic procession is led by the grand marshal, a faculty member appointed by the president.

Learn more about the academic procession