By Dani Naess Hellesund
What do the phrase “Mens Regnum Bona Possidet,” an ocelot, and the colors green and gold have in common?
The answer is that they are all LIU Post traditions. Since LIU Post was founded in 1954, the school has established many customs unique
to its institution. Students have heard of some of these traditions, but according to students interviewed by The Pioneer, many have not.
Anastasia Manesis, a freshman Pre-Pharmacy major, is a student who does not know much about Post’s traditions. While the campus mascot is an ocelot, a medium-sized American wildcat, she “thought it was a panther.”
Sophomore Philosophy major Sabrina Laurito knew that the campus mascot was an ocelot. “Before I came here I looked it up,” she said. “I don’t know any traditions this school has, except the ocelot.”
Natalie Post, a sophomore Math major, remembers something about the little known exam touchstone: a stone that supposedly brings good luck to students on test day. When Post was being shown around the school, she believes, “I think someone mentioned it.” Marianna Scalise, a sophomore Psychology major, also knew about the exam touchstone since she had learned about it on a campus tour. The exam touchstone is located outside of Pell Hall, the Life Science building, and is supposedly a good luck charm that will help you ace your exams if you touch it.
Even though most students don’t know that much about the school’s traditions, Post has a rich history, some of which can be found on the school’s website. The campus motto, which is “Mens Regnum Bona Possidet,” translates to “A keen mind possesses a kingdom.” The school colors, green and gold, symbolize the campus and its location. Green symbolizes the green lawns, hillsides, and trees all around campus. Gold symbolizes the school’s location on Long Island’s Gold Coast. The school mascot is called “Sir Lancelot the Ocelot.”
The name, the Pioneers, stems from the people who created these traditions. After World War II, establishing a new private college was something unheard of and founding traditions from the ground-up made these innovators feel like pioneers. The name was coined in 1955.
The street names on campus such as Post Lane, University Boulevard, Gold Coast Road, Pioneer Boulevard and Scholar Court were given to these roads after a vote by the campus community in 1997, in an effort to improve signage.
Many students are unaware of the myriad of traditions that LIU Post has. An important step to get students into these traditions would be to inform them. Laurito said, “I think it would be cool…to have something that really…unifies us as a school, like to do every year that everyone can participate in.”