When Dartmouth rolled out a new visual identity under the theme of One Dartmouth and that same year, the School of Graduate and Advanced Studies was endowed by the Hon. Frank Guarini '46, the stars seemed to align for the development of a new Guarini School shield– in more ways than one.
The graduate and professional school shields currently vary a lot and have different shapes, icons, and images on their shields and neither the pine tree nor the river emblem in the Guarini School shield aligned. In keeping with the One Dartmouth vision, the Guarini School worked with the Office of Communications and OCD, the design firm tasked with the Dartmouth branding, including developing the new D-Pine and WordMark, to design a new shield which would tell the story of the Guarini School.
"When we want to summarize the Guarini School, the mission statement is a good place to start," says Dean F. Jon Kull '88. "We are a uniquely placed to foster postgraduate academic programs of the highest quality, to catalyze intellectual discovery, and to prepare a diverse community of scholars for global leadership."
The narrative began to take shape and the design team began to work on an image that would represent the broad fields of research in the Guarini School. It was important that this image be representative of all of our graduate students and post docs, and of course, capture Dartmouth's renowned sense of place.
"We thought Baker library would be a really good symbol to appear on our shield," Dean Kull says. "It is probably the most iconic symbol on the Dartmouth campus, and it can be seen from all over campus, as well as when one comes home to Hanover after being away."
The sense of place was covered, but the task of finding a symbol that would really tell the story of graduate studies and what that represents in the broader sense was trickier. "The research done by our students and postdocs has global impact, expands the boundaries of human knowledge, and is often interdisciplinary," Dean Kull said.
We turned again to that unique sense of place and looked up.
"I bet everyone who spends any time at Dartmouth will at some point will walk across the green at night and notice how amazingly bright the stars are," Kull notes. The designers worked with the School to create an image of Cassiopeia, one of the constellations that one could have seen when standing on the green at midnight and looking north at Baker on the night the Board of Trustees voted to establish the School, on July 1, 2016.
In addition to the distinctive constellation, the new shield shows Baker tower and lines representing the Connecticut river that runs along the western side of campus. The date, 2016, denotes the founding of the School , the first to be founded at Dartmouth in over a century (although Dartmouth has been granting PhD degrees since 1885),.
"I hope this new shield will resonate with people; it certainly resonated with me and the graduate student council," Kull says.
To launch the new shield, we reached out to Ed Ting, a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program, who is a keen astrophotographer. Although Cassiopeia is still quite low on the horizon, Ed was able to create a composite image capturing the view that inspired the shield. "I think it's a pretty amazing picture," says Kull.