2024 Celebration of Scholars logo created by Aiden Miller and Max Robinson. The Celebration of Scholars logo changes every year and is designed by a current Carthage student. All students are invited to submit a logo design in the annual Celebration of Scholars Student Logo Contest.

The logo must visually convey the message of the Celebration of Scholars: Exposition of Student and Faculty Research, Scholarship, and Creativity. The winning logo is announced and displayed at the Celebration of Scholars Poster Exhibition. The designer of the winning logo receives a cash prize of $250, and the opportunity to showcase his or her talent across and beyond the campus community.

Students should submit their logo as an Adobe Illustrator file and a PDF file, along with a brief narrative describing their process in creating the logo.

Here are the student-designed logos that have represented the Celebration of Scholars to date:

2024 Celebration of Scholars logo created by Aiden Miller and Max Robinson. “From the start, we knew we wanted to approach this project in a fun and unique way. With our logo, we focused on the terms growth, progression, and creativity. The paper airplane symbolizes progress, while the character symbolizes growth and creativity. Our lines come to a point creating an arrow pointing forward, showcasing this progression. In addition, we wanted to convey the idea of positivity through our choice of colors. We hope you enjoy our logo!”

The 2023 Celebration of Scholars logo. “Research, Scholarship, and Creativity. These words not only represent the Celebration of Scholars but also the aspirations of higher education as a whole that this event showcases. The celebration provides the students and faculty of Carthage College the opportunity to showcase their achievements and work to the Carthage community. The logo and branding system of such an event should reflect these principles, and with this, I invite you to enjoy my submission for the 2022 Celebration of Scholars Logo.”


“While developing this logo, I strived to learn what ‘scholarship’ truly means. While it can be broken down into disciplines and practices, formulas, and works of art, I found no explanation more inspirational than this: To learn is to forever have one’s head in the clouds, as that is where the sun shines the brightest.”


“This logo captures the eternal process of thought and inspiration through the image of a tranquil figure, mind wandering, with clouds reminiscent of the crowns of Greek Philosophers. In orbit around this figure is both the smallest atom or a vast star, representing the endless expanse of knowledge and how a small change in your point of view can change your whole perception of reality.”


“While the sleek, modern design of the emblem allows for a wide range of color applications, the logo truly shines with this sunrise-inspired gradient. The warm tones bring viewers to a bright morning on our lakeside campus, eager to meet a day of new possibilities.”

Celebration of Scholars logo 2022 The Inspiration

“When starting the research process, I found myself looking for inspiration that embodies the Celebrations of Scholars, and its participants. The words strength, dedication, and motivation led me to look deeper into industrial revolution. As I kept researching, I found out a gear is used as a symbol for strength, and immediately knew I had to incorporate the concept of a gear into my design.”

Three Gears

“I chose to work with three gears to represent the three important aspects of the Celebration of Scholars: research, scholarship, and creativity. It is also to represent the three aspects of the Carthage mission ‘Seeking Truth, Building Strength, Inspiring Service—Together.’”


“The color choice was made after looking out my window and seeing the beautiful sunrise over Lake Michigan. In this design, I chose to have the center of the gears as a sun, and the gears themselves as the rays branching out to Carthage and its community to represent the motivation that is crucial, for both students and faculty. This event highlights all the hard work these people do for their work, and the motivation that got them to the Celebration of Scholars event.”


“I chose to highlight the location by representing it with something that we are lucky to see, a sunrise on Lake Michigan. I believe it is important to emphasize the concept of living where your feet are, especially in days like this. The Celebration of Scholars is an event to celebrate how far these students and staff have come, and the impact their hard work has on its community. The waves represent the obstacles that have occurred on their way to the Celebration of Scholars, and the importance of being grounded, and appreciating the journey along the way.”

Celebration of Scholars Logo 2021 “When I think of research, scholarship, and creativity, it takes me to the idea of personal growth. Those three things are ultimately the stepping stones for success, helping a person grow as they progress on their own individual journey. My design begins with a small circle at the bottom to represent an idea. The curved path split by two white lines represents research, scholarship, and creativity. The silhouette of a person outstretched holding a star represents the excitement of learning and accomplishing a goal. The shape of the design is curved in order to show the winding road and challenges that we might face. The red to orange gradient symbolizes the passion to drive education into the joy and growth that comes with being successful.”

Celebration of Scholars Logo 2020 “My logo is based on the quote by Henry David Thoreau, ‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!’ and I believe that the Celebration of Scholars embodies that. All of us wander down different paths in search of what we want to pursue. Celebration of Scholars brings us all back together to showcase what we have all learned through research, creativity, and scholarship. My logo emphasizes that there are many different directions to take, we just need a compass to point the way. I created a modern compass design to pay homage to tradition and our roots while also acknowledging our technological advancements. The blue encompasses our curiosity and exploration along our journey. With a compass and our passion to guide us, we know we can confidently go in the right direction.”

Celebration of Scholars Logo 2019 “I wanted to create a logo that reflected the celebration of the modern world, but also paid homage to the past. During my research, I was particularly drawn to the Acropolis monument located in Athens, Greece. I decided to use a similar pillar design to illustrate the past and to prove that education and development are timeless. The flame on top of the pillar represents the perseverance and livelihood of the celebration. The three digital wiring abstractions at the baseline of the pillar symbolize the exposition of student/faculty research, scholarship, and creativity, in addition to representing our technologically advanced world. I decided to go with a deep purple to dark pink gradient. The combination of these colors define the logo’s strength and welcoming presence.”

Celebration of Scholars Logo 2018 “I was both honored and excited to have the opportunity to create an identity system for this prestigious exposition. The challenge of this competition was to visually convey the research, scholarship, and creativity of students and faculty through a unique symbol. Throughout my research process, I paid particular attention to color and the connection to emotion, as well as how various shapes can communicate to an audience. The overall circular design represents the endless pursuit of knowledge students and faculty display throughout a lifetime. Each of the three individual circles represents the research, scholarship, and creativity of the competition. Circles are seen as harmonious and aesthetically pleasing while the orange and blue colors symbolize confidence and dependability. Research and creativity eventually lead to a break in the circle or the development of a concept. From this comes a progression of growth, new connections, and ideas.”

Celebration of Scholars Logo 2017 “I spent a great deal of time studying symbols, colors, and scholastic verbiage that correlated with the message of the Celebration of Scholars. After concluding my research, the logo that I decided to pursue was an indigo and turquoise infinite triangle. This symbol represents the infinite loop of research, scholarship, and creativity that is pursued and developed year after year for this event.”

Celebration of Scholars Logo 2016 “As many would know, the spark of an idea is often represented by a light bulb. I wanted to take this concept further by showing how scholar would embody a light bulb. I did this by designing a light bulb that incorporated the silhouette of a scholar’s head. The light illuminating in the bulb represents the students’ and faculty’s knowledge. A hand is placed around the head to grasp that knowledge and project to those around them like a light bulb would.”

Celebration of Scholars Logo 2015 “For three years, the Celebration of Scholars has been a stage for students and faculty alike to showcase the hard work and dedication their projects required. There is one aspect of the Celebration of Scholars, though, that is rarely shown but always present: the pursuit of knowledge.

“Knowledge can only be acquired through questioning the world around us; by asking something specific of the world we live in. This pursuit is endless, and offers merely glimpses at the light of knowledge. But after true scholars catch their first glimpse of knowledge, they thirst for more. The Celebration of Scholars truly celebrates the ongoing pursuit each scholar continues to work toward.

“I decided to create an image that could encapsulate the goal each scholar has in mind: knowledge. A symbol of triumph after numerous failed attempts, the light bulb signifies the difficult but achievable journey to gain knowledge. The exterior of the light bulb also forms a question mark, as questioning our surroundings is what initially sparks the pursuit of knowledge. The filament of the light bulb, the brightest part of the bulb, spreads its light to the world around it. Just like the filament, the Celebration of Scholars allows scholars to share their knowledge with the world around them.”

Celebration of Scholars Logo 2014 “The logo I designed for the Celebration of Scholars 2014 is comprised of two concentric circles; each circle is made up of three distinct arcs. These three arcs stand for scholarship (or research), creativity, and celebration, which are the three aspects of this event. They also represent the different students that come together from multiple departments to make the Celebration a success. The arcs change in thickness as they travel around the circle, representing the concept that these projects start out as an idea, and then grow and change through research and experimentation until the final product is completed and presented at the Celebration. As a circle flows continuously, so the exchange of ideas and education continues to perpetuate at Carthage.”

Celebration of Scholars Logo 2013 “The first project I was assigned as an intern was to develop a type-mark for the Celebration of Scholars using the specific font, Bodoni. ‘Scholars’ is given emphasis over ‘Celebration’ to highlight the academic achievements represented by the students and their findings. This is how I arrived at the ‘CS’ portion of the mark. I searched the webpage for Celebration of Scholars as well as some general pages on the school and found that Carthage divides its education into six areas. With this information, the number 6 became imperative for me to incorporate into the design. A piece of chemistry I remembered from chemistry classes was the ‘benzene ring.’ The benzene ring is both versatile and reactive and is found in molecular compounds studied in organic chemistry. It is represented in shorthand by a hexagon with a smaller circle in the center. The overlapping hexagons pull in a metaphor of Carthage’s style of education: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The color scheme is a group of warmer reds and oranges to convey warmth, welcoming, and harmony to both participants and guests. The hexagons are translucent to highlight the blending and adaptability that comes with studying a wide variety of subjects at Carthage. The result is a logo that conveys a commemorative sense of higher education to those who are a part of this prodigious event at Carthage.”

Celebration of Scholars Logo 2012 “The Celebration of Scholars working group approached the campus community to develop an identity for the event with the goal of visually conveying the message of the Celebration: to show the exposition of student and faculty research, scholarship and creativity. An event like this is unique, leaving much to the designer to imitate its meaning yet maintaining a visually appealing mark. I spent a great deal of time researching the meaning of the event and considering how to represent this in the icon.

“After my research, I arrived on the icon of the interlocked rings. A ring signifies completeness, planning, research and development of the participants coming together into a finished product. Lastly, they signify the joint collaboration of faculty and student research in one project. There is also great symbolism in the color selection and gradients, as each represents a specific Academic Division at Carthage. The deep reds signify the divisions of Interdisciplinary Studies & Education, as well as Carthage’s relationship with the Lutheran church. The yellows represent the departments of the Natural and Social Sciences. Lastly, the bold blue gradient stands for the Humanities and Fine Arts Divisions. The colors together represent the balanced, liberal arts education that Carthage offers to its students.

“The final result represents creativity, emulated through the mark itself as being visually interesting and appealing as well as recognizable and visible on campus.”

Celebration of Scholars Logo 2011 “The Celebration of Scholars logo was designed in response to a prompt that requested the creation of a logo that emphasized ‘the true meaning behind the sharing of research, scholarship and creativity.’ The resulting logo represents each of these three terms in a single mark. Throughout the design process a number of themes were explored from the physics of friction to the history and heritage of research, scholarship and creativity. Ultimately, however, inspiration for the chosen mark came from the work of James Turrell, an American artist known for his work concerned with light and space. One piece in particular, ‘Wedgework III’, an installation using fluorescent light for The De Pont Museum in 1969, served as the primary inspiration. The concept of the artist’s work was to lead the viewer from darkness at the opening of the installation into a brilliant display of color and light. This concept of leading the viewer from darkness into light seemed a fitting analogy for what the Celebration of Scholars event intends to promote. The forms created by the concealed lamps in Turrell’s installation then also served to inform the shapes used to create the radiating “beams” of light in the mark. The resulting logo from this exploration of themes and ultimately from the inspiration of Mr. Turrell’s work now represents the Celebration of Scholars event.”