The TASIS Crest
TASIS, The American School in Switzerland, was founded in 1956 by Mrs. M. Crist Fleming, a leader in international education, and it is now the longest-established American boarding school in Europe.
In 1976, she opened the doors of TASIS The American School in England, an international boarding and day school that now educates over 600 students who come from more than 60 countries. All TASIS schools and programs are based on Mrs. Fleming’s educational principles, which are symbolized in the TASIS crest.
The original TASIS seal has undergone several changes since 1956, however the essential elements have always remained. For the current crest, the illustrators at Weymouth Griffin Design, an American design firm, redrew the four symbols on the crest—the tower (culture), the lamp (wisdom), the sun (truth), and the book (knowledge)— and made minor adjustments to the typography. The new design retains the blue-and-red color scheme of the original TASIS crest in 1956.
Those colors disappeared from the TASIS crest in 1960 and remained absent until 1999, which is the last time the crest was altered. Kate Gonzalez, Director of Alumni Affairs at the time, discussed the evolution of the crest in the introduction to that year’s TASIS Today, noting, “The red, blue, and white colors reflect our ties to the United States, Great Britain, Switzerland, and the Canton Ticino, the original inspiration for our first seal in 1956.”
The Tower stands for culture (humanitas). The campuses of TASIS Schools and Summer Programs, all located in beautiful, historic settings, are a constant reminder of the beauty of nature, and the campus buildings, with their graceful, humane proportions, help students to value culture and beauty in their own lives. In addition, TASIS makes travel an integral feature of the programs, giving students the chance to experience first-hand some of Europe’s most sublime and memorable achievements.
The Lamp symbolizes wisdom (sapientia), and at TASIS, this is learning to strive for ideals. All TASIS programs emphasize sports and arts and take advantage of their European cultural settings to teach students the importance of developing high standards and worthwhile interests. Wisdom is seen as the result not only of reading books and browsing the Internet but also of sacrificing short-term pleasures for long-term goals; it’s something just as much of the heart as of the mind.
The Sun represents truth (veritas), which implies both honesty and integrity. The structure and standards of behavior at TASIS are designed to promote students’ personal integrity and moral development. Truth builds trust, and when young people from different countries and backgrounds get to know each other in an atmosphere of loyalty and trust, as they do at TASIS, prejudices are broken down, lasting friendships are made, and a vibrant and caring community is created.
The Book means knowledge (scientia). At the same time as providing a balanced American-style curriculum and fostering an environment where high academic achievement is valued, TASIS also supports individual students through small classes and dedicated teachers. Through the breadth and depth of its courses and the commitment of its faculty, TASIS encourages all its students to honor knowledge and become lifelong learners.