The owl is the symbol for Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom and strategy. The owl is also the symbol of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, music, medicine, and commerce. An 1875 nursery rhyme:
“There was an owl lived in an oak
The more he heard, the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
O if men were all like that wise bird.”
Until the middle of the 20th century, all teachers, professors, and even many college students wore mortarboard caps and academic gowns. Even today, the graduation cap and the wise old owl are recognizable icons of education, higher learning, knowledge and wisdom, and the honorable profession of teaching.
As part of our tribute to better-trained brains, OHM offers this learned don of the feathered faculty resplendent in spectacles, bowtie, and tasseled cap, dutifully ringing their Old School hand-bell starting another sagacious class lecture. They may be adorable, but this wise little professor on your bracelet is a reminder of the teachers and lessons that guided your path and your role in leading others. O, if we were all more like that wise bird!