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A little Latin lesson

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Overhearing a discussion the other day, we were reminded that relatively few members of the UW-Green Bay community are aware the institution has an official (or at least semi-official) Latin motto. It’s true. Our search of the records confirms that The Faculty Senate voted in November 2009 to endorse use of the Latin phrase Ad Scientiam Renovandam for UW-Green Bay. The motto was proposed by several faculty members nearly a decade early, but was never widely embraced. Ad means “toward” or “for.” Scientiam is the source of the word “science,” but in the Latin of ancient Rome it could mean “learning,” “education” and “knowledge,” and thus spans the teaching and research aspects of academic life. Renovandam comes from a verb that means “to renew,” “recreate,” or “innovate.”  So, in a rough translation: In Learning, Renewal. University officials are currently considering whether the Latin motto — which arguably ties in nicely with the University’s original innovative focus but also to the Phoenix re-emerging from the ashes — might be dusted off for occasional use where appropriate, such as for a planned update of the University’s official seal.

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