History of Cranbrook School "Aim High" Logo

On 21 June 2003, Dave Benham sent the following query to Margi Brown of Cranbrook Kingswood Alumni Relations:
Hi Margi,

The Class of '63 has been wondering what the history of the old Aim High logo is. I have an old 1938 Brook that I got at an antique store and notice that it does not have that logo anywhere in it. That made me wonder, when did it first show up? Did a student create it?

If you don't know but do know of a historian there who might know, please forward this on so we might get an answer. It may be in Ben Snyder's book (which I don't have) or Bruce Coulter's book (which I can't locate).


Dave Benham, C'63

On 23 June, Margi answered Dave's query as follows:

I am going to quote the Campus Sculpture Guide.

"In 1927, 'Aim High' was adopted as the motto of Cranbrook School. Along with the motto, a seal was created. This seal, designed by Eero Saarinen, displays an archer, Acestes, aiming his arrow high up into the sky. In book five of Virgil's Aeneid, an archery contest is held at Anchises' funeral games with the object of shooting down a bird tied to the top of a ship's mast. The first archer splits the masthead, the second cuts the cord, and the third kills the bird. When the fourth archer shoots, the contest seems lost since no target remains. Nonetheless, the determined archer shoots his arrow as high into the sky as he can, an act that is rewarded by the gods who tip his arrow with fire. For his great spirit, Acestes wins the contest.

Although the archer and his motto have accompanied Cranbrook since its founding, the sculpture that now graces the northeast corner of the Cranbrook Quadrangle was not commissioned until 40 years later as the class gift of Cranbrook's Class of 1968. Completed in 1972, it was executed by Peter Kerr, former head of the school's art department. Today, the bronze Acestes serves as a constant reminder of the Cranbrook motto and the thriving spirit it represents."

Hope that helps you out!

Margi Brown
Cranbrook Kingswood Alumni Relations