The Class of 1997 gave this reproduction of the University Seal depicting Moses kneeling before the burning bush. The image is surrounded by a Latin inscription that in English reads, “I will see this great vision in which the bush does not burn.”
The bronze medallion is 36 inches in diameter and mounted on a marble slab set on a triangular stone base about 4 feet tall. The whole is set in a large, raised rectangular planter topped by a stone bench in front of Budig Hall/Hoch Auditoria.
The first KU chancellor, the Rev. R.W. Oliver, chose the seal in 1866. It was redesigned by Elden C. Tefft, a sculptor and professor of art, for the university’s centennial. The story of Moses’ vision is from the third chapter of Exodus in the Old Testament of the Bible.
Fire symbolizes knowledge in many stories and myths. Moses represents the humble attitude of the scholar who recognizes the unquenchable nature of the pursuit of truth and knowledge.