Trevor Ott

It has been a great year in many ways.  On a personal level, what I will remember most will be my time spent talking to our students about the Delphian logo. I asked them to look at each aspect of the logo and tell me what it meant to them, based on their experience as students immersed in the Delphian culture.  

   Each group of students I met with came to remarkably similar conclusions, and I’d like to share some of them with you:

Scroll - represents knowledge one can attain from the study of others’ ideas. 

Quill - represents self-created knowledge including decisions, conclusions, personal opinions, creativity, etc. 

Olive branch - in Greek mythology, the olive branch is associated with the Greek goddess Athena, goddess of wisdom. Among other things, it often represents peace, victory and wisdom.

Knowledge - by knowledge we mean assured belief; that which is known; enlightenment, learning; practical skill. We mean data, factors; whatever can be thought about or perceived. Yet, knowledge is more than data; it is also the ability to draw conclusions.  

Ethics - students learn in The Ethics Book course that ethics are reason. By ethics, we mean that which is enforced by oneself, by his belief in his own honor. Ethics involves the use of good reason and rationality towards one’s own survival, that of one’s family, group, mankind, all living things, the physical universe—even oneself as a spiritual being. The optimum solution to any problem would take into account all of these dynamic areas of life and choose according to the greatest good for the greatest number. 

Integrity - As students read in the course Integrity and the Code of Honor, Mr. Hubbard wrote:

What is true for you is what you have observed yourself

And when you lose that you have lost everything.


What is personal integrity?

Personal integrity is knowing what you know—

What you know is what you know—

And to have the courage to know and say what you have observed.

And that is integrity

And there is no other integrity.

Leadership - The Merriam Webster dictionary defines leadership as, “the capacity to lead,” but Mr. Hubbard goes further to describe a leader as, “someone from whom others are willing to take orders. The first test any follower of a leader requires the leader to meet is competence. Does the leader know what he is doing?”  

Circle - communicates the idea that these concepts have no beginning or end, that they are infinite in their potential to grow together.

   With these components separately understood, we questioned relationships between them. We asked and answered dozens of questions along these lines:

Why did we use knowledge instead of data? Ethics instead of morals? Leadership instead of fellowship?

Can one have integrity without knowledge? How does knowledge affect your potential for ethical decisions?

Is there a “most important” word in the logo? Can one be a leader without the other components of the logo? Should one be?

   Through discussion, students generally came to the following conclusions:

The scroll and quill are equally important aspects of an education if it is to be useful in solving the problems of life.

The olive branch represents the idea that victory can be achieved through a balance of the other points of the logo.

True integrity is built upon the evaluation of data. We can and should have integrity concerning the data learned in school, but a far more important integrity concerns the conclusions, decisions and points of view we form using the data we’ve learned.

   Delphian’s logo includes the idea that the leaders of tomorrow should have sufficient knowledge, integrity, and ethics to ensure that their leadership will result in survival for the group they lead—and for others as well.

Each student assumed personal ownership of the logo and decided for themselves that a balance of the ideas found in it is something they want to gain from their education.   

   I hope you will join in this discussion and enjoy it as much as I have.