Medalcraft Mint’s in-house art department gets called upon to create exquisite imagery for customer orders every day, but the Schreyer Honors College at The Pennsylvania State University brought us a design that truly tested our team’s ability to recreate its glory in die block form.
More than 2,000 Schreyer Honors College scholars wear this attractive medal at commencement in recognition of their achievements. These individuals represent the top 2 percent of students at Penn State who excel academically and lead at the University Park campus and 20 Commonwealth campuses.
John A. Cook, professor emeritus of art in the College of Arts and Architecture, designed the medal. He and his wife, Dickie Jessen-Cook, donated all rights to the College in 2008 for use of the design in perpetuity.
“While the lion is certainly no stranger to Penn State,” Dr. Cook explains, “this particular species with flowing mane has not been much in evidence since 1942, when Heinze Warneke’s version established residence as the athletic logo. A suitable symbol for the Schreyer Honors College requires something agile and alert, with the potential to reach out and encompass new dimensions of thought.
“The lion thus depicted emerges with extended claws to become the University’s symbol of intellectual excellence. The qualities of ‘Scholarly Achievement,’ ‘Integrity of Purpose,’ and ‘Intellectual Curiosity’ form the legend of the medal and define the field from which the lion gathers his strength.”