The Chancellor's Medallion is the insignia of office worn by the Chancellor at Convocation, Commencement, and other occasions of academic ceremony. It was established by Chancellor David G. Brown in 1985. This medallion was a gift of the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees. Gary Byrd, an art major from Burnsville, submitted the winning design. The centerpiece of the 4-inch, circular medallion is an open book - a traditional symbol of knowledge. Converging at the book's center, and extending to the medallion's decorative border, are three circles symbolizing the education of the body, mind and soul. The medallion is bounded by a decorative band, the design for which is taken from an ancient Greek drinking vessel depicting the reverent treatment of a Greek scholar.
In 1995 with the installation of Reed, the Chancellor’s Medallion was redesigned by Art professor S. Tucker Cooke and associate professor emeritus Elma M. Johnson. This new medallion is crafted in silver, gold and enamel by local artisans. Its design shows the university’s mountain setting and its links with the region, state, nation and world. It also symbolizes the bonds among faculty, students and the university community; and the interdisciplinary nature of the liberal arts.
The tradition of the medallions derive from ancient practices of the church and crown, which publicly bestowed a seal of power and authority on its chosen representative. Replicas of the Chancellor’s Medallion are presented to individuals whose lives and service have demonstrated the deepest commitment to the enhancement of UNC Asheville.
University Archives, D.H.Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNC Asheville 28804
A Special Thanks to Kevin Frazier
List of Recipients
Lin Brown (2012); K. Ray Bailey (2008); Ruth and Luther Barnhardt (2006); Pete McDaniel, class of '74 (2004); Arthur and Alice Green (2001); Wayne McDevitt, class of '75 (2000); Adelaide Daniels Key (1999); Jay Banks (1995); Francine Delany (posthumously 1993); Roy Taylor (1991); Alfred Miller (1990); Karl Straus (1989); Richard Wynne (1988); Ruth Feldman (1987); Gordon Greenwood (1986); and Ernest Mills (1985).