Traditionally, the ceremonial mace represents the authority vested in the highest officer of a governing body. In an educational institution, the authority symbolized by the mace is derived from respect for the authority of knowledge, and for the rights and value of the individual. Thus, the leader of an academic community assumes the obligation and challenge to ensure, for its members, a climate conducive to growth in knowledge and grace.
The construction of the ceremonial mace of Loma Linda University evokes further ideas. Two metals—bronze and aluminum—suggest the value of lessons both ancient and contemporary. Rather than lying prone—an instrument to be wielded, this mace stands upright in celebration of the human spirit. Open construction implies free exposure to questions, ideas, and conflict. Eight vertical supporting elements (at three points bound together representing strength and stability in unity) uphold a graceful oval that points outward to the universe—the province of inquiry.
Within the oval, the University seal appears to float unfettered. The basic design of the coat of arms and the seal of Loma Linda University—established in 1905 as the College of Medical Evangelists—is a contemporary modification of the shield, a heraldic device.
Within the seal, the Christian cross—a universal symbol—acknowledges the role of Jesus Christ as Savior and Redeemer.
The lighted torch—part of our logo since 1959—suggests the illuminating power of knowledge and the central role of the Holy Spirit in teaching and healing. It also references the institution's call to serve as a light to the world.
The ancient staff of Aesculapius, long associated with medicine—and part of our logo since the 1920s—represents in the modern and broad sense the combined services of all the healing arts and sciences.
Across the base of the shield, the open book symbolizes the Word of God—the foundation of all truth, the source of the Christ-centered commission, and the inspiration for all endeavor of humanity for humanity.
Framing the shield are, on the left, the branch of oak leaves and acorns, presented in ancient times to honor the civic contribution of one who had saved his brother-citizen's life; and, at the right, the laurel branch, presented to honor personal achievement. Shown together, the oak and laurel branches form a wreath—suggesting that the life-saving and life-enhancing work of the health sciences brings with it an obligation to act honorably, courageously, and selflessly.
The emblems of the seal imply that one who has the privilege of learning also has the obligation of valor and honor. On the scroll below the shield is the motto—adopted in 1955 on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of this institution—"To Make Man Whole."