The chain of office is one of the surviving vestments of early university systems, developed in the middle ages, along with the formal gowns, which are now worn only for ceremonial purposes. These chains typically feature a medallion bearing the seal of the institution, along with institutional colors in bright enamel. The medallion designed for the Office of the President of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University diverges from this traditional ornamentation.
The medallion designed for today’s installation ceremony replaces the use of a traditional seal with a lattice structure of stainless steel, fused together layer by layer with powerful lasers. Faintly visible through the abstract mesh is the year 1928. While non-traditional, the medallion design references not only the college’s past, but also its journey. The lattice in the foreground is meant to demonstrate the institution’s readiness to embrace the future and continue its journey of excellence in art and design education.
Special thanks to Phil Renato, Professor and Chair of the Allesee Metals and Jewelry Design Program, who was commissioned to design and create the chain of office.