This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ad Astra Per Aspera

On of bits of stonework that still stands on the SJC campus is the sundial south east of the Evans Arts and Science Building. (Other places you can see the old stonework are in the grotto and on the fountain in the reflecting pond.)
The sundial that is there now is not the original, as this entry in Fr. Dominic Gerlach's Saint Joseph's College: A Centennial Pictorial History From Its Beginnings to 1990 explains:
The sundial near the library was erected in 1930, a gift of that year's graduation class. The sundial's original motto read "Ad Astra Per Aspera" [to the stars through hard work]. In recent years the sundial was replaced by the present one [now also vandalized] with the more prosaic motto, "Tempus Fugit" [time flies].
(Brackets in the original.) I think the original motto was much more interesting than the current one, which is on many sundials. The original motto is not as widely used.

The sundial received an entry in the Jasper County Interim Report, which mistakenly lists it as constructed in 1914. If the people who made the entry had had correct information about it, they might not have listed it. 
Do you know why today is a good day for this post? On the analemma the sun is crossing the median line, which means there is no distortion in properly aligned sundial. That only happens four time a year. How is that for a bit of useless trivia?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ad Astra Per Aspera (to the Stars with Difficulty) is the state Motto of Kansas.