Beginning with the Spring 2001 Commencement
at the University of South Alabama, the platform
party and students will proceed to their respective
places behind gonfalons. Gonfalons are the flags
or banners, hung from crosspieces on poles,
used since medieval times in the republics of
Italy as symbols of state or office.
and colleges around the world have adopted gonfalons
to increase the ceremonial nature of commencement
exercises. The top portion of each college's
gonfalon is the designated color for each unit;
white is the background color for each of the
college's symbols, as well as one of the University's
The gonfalons are used during graduation ceremonies to symbolize the different academic areas within the University. Please note that the gonfalons are not "logos" for the individial colleges and schools and should not replace the USA logo in school/college letterhead, publications or other related uses.
To help identify each college gonfalon,
a description of each follows:
The University of South Alabama's colors of
red, white, and blue predominate with the University's
official seal in the center, white section.
This symbol depicts the many health care professions
that make up the health care team. The supporting
hands and the red center represent the caring
nature and the heart of the various professions
represented in the College of Allied Health
The globe in the College of Arts and Sciences'
gonfalon symbolizes study of human societies,
cultures, and behaviors. The microscope represents
the scientific study of nature. The paintbrush,
palette, and the lyre connote artistic performance
and appreciation of the arts, and the book is
symbolic of a life informed by learning.
The Mitchell College of Business uses the symbol
of a club which is associated with money, wealth,
work and luck. The color purple symbolizes the
rank of authority. The gold lozenges represent
the flow of order.
The design of the College of Computer and Information
Sciences is made up of two symbols appropriate
to the School: the Flame of Knowledge and the
Globe. The Flame of Knowledge is derived from
three distinct disciplines: Science represented
by the Blue, Engineering represented by the
Orange, and Business represented by the tan.
The Globe symbolizes both the wide reaching
effect of the discipline and the diversity of
the College's population.
The gonfalon for the School of Continuing Education
and Special Programs has three elements: a reaching
hand, a star and a circle of blue. The hand
reaching for a star superimposed on the circle
of blue symbolizes the continuing quest for
The flourishing flame blazoned with red and
light blue signifies the burning zeal of the
three missions of education -- teaching, research
and service. The hands hold the spiritual, social
and intellectual flame of education.
The earth is the ground stability, a foundation
for life and for the structure of man and nature.
The College of Engineering invites discovery
and investigation into the realm of ever-changing
worldwide technologies. The bridge is a symbol
of engineering design. It is the essence of
learning, the container of intellect and the
spirit of wisdom that creates destinies.
The caduceus is a wing-topped staff interwound
by two snakes and was carried by Hermes, Greek
messenger of the Gods. In early cultures the
intertwined snakes symbolizes healing. The caduceus
has been a symbol of medicine since the 16th
Three blue stars blazoned with gold symbolize
caring, innovation, and empowerment. The two
shafts of wheat represent nourishment and strength,
while the globe illustrates the universal presence
of nursing. The burning lamp of Florence Nightingale
and the red cross signify the history and origins