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The House System

Scriptorium uses a house system, based on traditional British models, to encourage fellowship and competition among classes.

FELLOWSHIP

Each house chooses a house activity to complete during the year. Activities have included a miniature medieval weapons tournament and Easter egg decoration. All members of the house wear their house colors on Defense Day each semester. Students also work together on a service project each semester; service projects have included collecting items for local food drives and making Christmas cards for American soldiers overseas.

COMPETITION

Competition promotes academic excellence and service to the community. Each house works to hold the highest average semester grade, to earn points during house games, and to collect or make the most items for the semester’s service project. The members of the house with the most points by the end of Defense Day receive prizes for their teamwork.

THE HOUSES

After the British tradition, houses are called “colleges” to reflect the origin of the word “college” from the Latin collegium which means, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, “An organized society of persons performing certain common functions and possessing special rights and privileges; a body of colleagues, a guild, fellowship, association.” The houses represent different historical eras. Follow this link to learn more about the designs of each house’s coat of arms.

COLLEGE OF CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA

Clement College is named after Clement of Alexandria (150-200 AD) who wrote: “For God is the cause of all good things; but of some primarily, as of the Old and the New Testament; and of others by consequence, as philosophy…. ‘Now,’ says Solomon, ‘defend wisdom, and it will exalt you, and it will shield you with a crown of pleasure’…. I call him truly learned who brings everything to bear on the truth, so that from geometry, music, grammar, and philosophy itself, culling what is useful, he guards the faith against assault…. And he who brings everything to bear on a right life, procuring examples from the Greeks and barbarians, this man is an experienced searcher after truth.” – Quoted from the Hillsdale College Western Heritage Reader

  • House colors: Green and gold
  • House symbols: Fish and arrows

 

COLLEGE OF KING ALFRED THE GREAT

King Alfred (849-899 AD) ruled Wessex, a small kingdom in England at the time of the Viking invasions. He learned to read because his mother promised to give a beautiful – and rare, for the time – book to any of her sons who learned to read first. Although he suffered many military defeats, he ultimately brought about a truce with the Vikings. He worked to improve the English laws and he encouraged his people to learn to read. In addition to his many kingly responsibilities, he translated many key documents and portions of Scripture into English.

  • House colors: Purple, red, and gold
  • House symbols: Dogs and dragons

 

COLLEGE OF THE MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE

The Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) was a young French nobleman who risked his life and spent his wealth in support of American independence. Like George Washington (1732-1799), he served without compensation. Lafayette was wounded at the battle of Brandywine (11 September 1777) and joined the Continental Army in suffering through the winter at Valley Forge. After briefly returning to France to persuade the king to ally with the Americans, Lafayette returned to the United States to lead troops for the war’s final battle at Yorktown in 1781. He remained a lifelong friend of the young United States, and at his death, former president John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) delivered a eulogy in his honor.

  • House colors: Blue, white, and gold
  • House symbols: Leopards, chevrons, and fleurs-de-lis

 

COLLEGE OF JOZEF AND WIKTORIA ULMA

Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma were the parents of six very young children in Poland during World War II (1939-1945), but after seeing Jews executed by the occupying Nazis, the Ulmas agreed to hide several Jews on their farm.  Two years later, the Ulma family and the Jews they sheltered were discovered and executed – even the small children. For their sacrifice, the Ulmas have been honored by the Yad Vashem memorial organization which recognizes “the righteous among the nations.” Although the original Ulma house – the Ulma family – ended tragically on 23 March 1944, the College of Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma has been named to perpetuate the memory of these selfless heroes.

  • House colors: Red, white, and black
  • House symbols: Eagles and roses

Page Image (c) 2018 Grace Hughbanks: Detail of a ceiling in Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic