The OCC Seal

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The OCC Seal

by Barbara Scheibel

Flames, quills, longhouses and laurel are some of the images that have made up the official OCC seals over the history of the college. The college seal is an official graphic representing the college and is used on official college documents, such as diplomas. OCC has had 3 different seals over the years, each reflecting the ideals, authority and purpose of the college.

The first college seal was designed by Edward S. Jay, an original member of the OCC English department faculty. The Board of Trustees approved the seal in July 1961. The seal includes an outer circle, Onondaga County, and a center circle containing a Long House, with five spokes. The Long House represents the Onondaga Nation, one of the five original nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. The five spokes separate images of a peace pipe and wampum (price paid by the Onondagas to make the Confederacy a reality); fire (the sacred fire of the Iroquois Confederacy); a space satellite (the scientific era); a graduation cap, diploma and slide rule (academic achievement); and a salt vat (Syracuse’s historic industry).

The second OCC seal was designed by Steve Meltzer, art director for WCNY-TV in 1967. Public Information Director George Allen presented the seal to the Board of Trustees for the inauguration of OCC President Marvin Rapp. Over the next two years the seal was used periodically, along with the original seal, until the Board of Trustees adopted the new design as the official seal of the college on April 23, 1969. The seal, a medallion bearing a three-point flame, was a symbol of the three major divisions of the College: Liberal Arts, Technical Arts and Creative and Performing Arts. Laurel leaves are used as a border, symbolizing success.

The third OCC seal was adopted on April 4, 2005 by the Board of Trustees as part of the College’s Identity Project and is still used today. The design was based on research conducted by Jennifer Wolfe Design. The crest is made up of five components: the “O”, the Flame, the Quills, the Book and the text. The “O” is made up of two facing letter “C”’s, standing for “community” and “college. The flame represents both the dancing flame of self-discovery, as well as the flame of the Longhouse. The tip of the flame bends toward the horizon, symbolizing a pathway to the future. The quills represent the great triad of the individual: a well-developed mind, body and soul. The book symbolized knowledge, its open pages giving way to the burning flame and the triad of accomplishment.

Rivette, Barbara S., et al. Onondaga Community College Celebrates 50 Years: 1961-2011. Data Key Communications, Inc., 2011.

Image 1 : The OCC Seal from 1961 - 1969.

Image 2: The OCC Seal from 1969 - 2005.

Image 3: The OCC Seal from 2005 - present.