In 1794, two years before Tennessee received statehood, Territorial Governor William Blount and the General Assembly chartered Greeneville College with Reverend Hezekiah Balch as president. Our founding date of 1794 can be seen at the bottom of the lantern on Tusculum’s official seal.
Twenty-four years later, Samuel Doak and his son, Samuel Witherspoon Doak, founded Tusculum Academy. The inspiration for the name of Tusculum can be traced through Doak and Balch ‘s alma mater, the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), to a small community near Rome, Italy called Tusculum. There, Roman educator, philosopher and politician Marcus Tullius Cicero espoused the importance of civic virtue as the foundation of representative government and civil society.
Similarly, Tusculum’s colors of orange and black were chosen in tribute to Doak and Balch’s alma mater and can be seen in the outer rings of the seal and the light within the lantern.
At the top of the lantern, Tusculum’s Latin motto, “Sit Lux,” translates to “Let there be light.” The lit lantern and rays of light radiating from it represent Tusculum’s commitment to instilling the importance of good citizenship in our graduates and training them to go forth into their communities as good citizens and leaders.
The lantern seen in the center of the seal was chosen to represent the lanterns seen across Tusculum’s main campus, which were designed exclusively for the institution.