Midland's emblem was created by Louise Chrimes, a dear friend of Louise Squibb. Louise Chrimes dropped by Midland for what she thought would be a short visit with the Squibbs, and she stayed on as a beloved staff member for many years.
The following is an excerpt from Dominion Over Palm and Pine: Paul Squibb and His Students, by Gary Lewis '45.
Her first and lasting impression: "There was something so peaceful... The countryside was so magnificent."
Her design for the school seal, which George Martin '33 (founder and editor of the Midland Mirror) immediately incorporated into the name of the Mirror, grew out of a (Latin) motto Paul proposed - In Robore Virtus - for which several translations are possible. The most eloquent version - "Our strength lies in the oak" - was suggested by LGS (Louise Squibb). The seal's elements include depictions of the Chapel and silo - two thing Miss Chrimes said she noticed first when she arrived - but the oak towers above, sheltering them in its lower branches. The base of the tree was suggested by the trunk of the largest oak in the lower yard. The foliage presented the subtler problem of capturing the way an oak tree moves.
"I wandered down the road and over the hillsides looking at the oaks," she said. "I went down, down through the pastures... There was one tree that I noticed while coming home from market several times. It was on Ted Chamberlin's land, down near the old bridge. So I went down and watched that tree."
In the course of her watching, she saw the tree move. Not just the leaves, but "the whole bough moved. A limb here and a limb there moved. They moved as if each was a separate little unity of clumps of leaves. I began to make my sketches of those clumps. The form of the tree came by watching...It just fell on the paper."
The seal, with its moving oak tree, along with Paul's motto, became a visual anthem of Midland life.
"Once I saw my first oak tree, I knew I belonged here. I'm living in it, I'm a part of it."
~ Megan Smith '08 (Smith College)