Chain of Office

The Chain of Office, worn by the President with academic garb on ceremonial occasions, is a symbol of office dating from medieval times.   Commissioned in 1983 by the Rivier College Alumni Association as a tribute to all who have served as College President, the medallion was initially presented on September 25, 1983 to Sister Jeanne Perreault, pm, President, by Sister Constance Perreault, pm, Director of Alumni, at a solemn Liturgy/Convocation commemorating the College’s fiftieth anniversary.

Front of Medallion

The Medallion was designed and fabricated by Jacqueline Ferrency ’70, Lecturer in Art; Sister Theresa Couture ‘64/’72G, pm, Professor of Art, was the design consultant. A permanent possession of the College.  The chain is presented to successive presidents at their inauguration by a representative of the Alumni Association.

The sterling silver medallion is ornamented with wire applique and semi-precious stones, and the chain alternates silver links of forged scrollwork with commemorative plates, each engraved with the name of a Rivier president. The medallion features stylized symbols of major College images, including the figure of a descending dove representative of the Holy Spirit who, in Catholic doctrine, is the divine teacher and the source of all wisdom and inspiration.

Reverse of Medallion

A fleur-de-lis refers to the French origin of the founding religious congregation, the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary. Saint Marie Rivier’s monogram reminds us of the College’s namesake. On the reverse of the medallion are imprinted Rivier College, the date of its founding (1933), and an image of an open book from the College Seal representing knowledge and learning.
Three lapis lazuli stones in bezel settings are in keeping with the Rivier colors of blue and silver as well as time-honored traditions.  The chief justice of ancient Egypt wore lapis lazuli to represent truth: the Sumerians believed wearers of lapis carried the presence of God within. During the Middle Ages learned men wore a lapis ring on their right index finger to “point the way.” As a charm, it was believed to bring about refinement of thought. clearer perceptions, and greater insight.

The linear forms entwined in organic configuration around the three stones and the two groupings of three tiny spheres forming flower-like motifs suggest the Holy Trinity and the physical, intellec­tual, and affective dimensions of human development.

The circular shape, repeated in spheres and in a halo around the dove’s head, suggest cyclical patterns in nature, the unity of creation, and God’s eternal glory. chain_link
One of the Chain Links

Sr. Jeanne wearing Chain of Office

Sr. Jeanne Perreault Wearing the President’s Chain of Office, 1983

Sr. Lucille Thibodeau Receiving the Chain of Office, 1997

Sr. Lucille wearing Chain of Office

Dr. Farrell wearing Chain of Office

Dr. William Farrell After Receiving the President’s Chain of Office, 2002