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The medallion bears the seal of Northern Kentucky University and symbolizes the authority and responsibility of the office of the president. It will be worn at all official functions of the university and will be passed on to each president.
Cast in brilliant bronze, the medallion is three inches in diameter. On the front appears “Northern Kentucky University 1968,” the date of the school’s charter. The medallion hangs on a gold chain, studded with 12 gold discs engraved with the seal of the university.

The origin of the medallion, a large medal, dates to ancient Rome when they were created to preserve the portrait of an eminent person or the memory of an illustrious action or event. Generally produced in limited numbers, they were made principally in bronze, although a few were in silver and in gold. Most were about one and a half inches in diameter. After Hadrian’s rule (117-138), they flourished until the fall of the Roman Empire.


Medallic art revived during the Renaissance with Vittore Pisano (1380-1456), the painter of Verona. He made medallions characterized by their vividness of sculpturesque portraiture and their unusual breadth and simplicity of treatment. In the Middle Ages, Albrecht Durer of Nuremberg, Germany, produced important works. In the 16th century, Jacques Primavera and Germain Pilon issued significant medals from France.

In England, medals began with Henry VIII (rule:1509-1547). Coronation medals were made for Edward VI and succeeding rulers. In the 18th century, J. A. Dassier issued a series of medals of English sovereigns from the time of William I.
The NKU presidential medallion shares this rich tradition of commemorative art.