As you turn to leave Robbins Chapel, cast your eye up to the rose window, in which, surrounding the shield of Brooks Residential College, you will see symbols of the traditional Seven Liberal Arts. These arts are the core of all that in the work of the University as students and faculty we try to advance, and are historically the foundation of all the disciplines.
We begin just left of the top with Grammar, the study of language in its structure and development, symbolized by the open book. Next, at the top comes Rhetoric, symbolized traditionally by the 'flowers' of rhetoric, the high art of speaking well and the sword of clarity which divides truth from error. Here the flowers are lilies, signifying the purity of a rhetoric aspiring to be faithful to the Christian virtues, and the sword recalls in our context Hebrews 4:12. Moving clockwise we come to Logic, symbolized by the Greek letter signifying the goal of philosophy as well ordered reason. These three are the traditional arts of the trivium, the foundation and means of sustained discourse in all higher learning. Next follow the arts of the quadrivium, disciplines whose roots are in properties of number rather than of words. Music is symbolized by the lyre, Astronomy by the starry heavens, Mathematics by a compass and Geometry by a triangle. These 'arts' connect the fine arts to the sciences.
Thus, even as we enter the chapel to pray thoughtfully, so we leave the sanctuary to think and work prayerfully, fortified to undertake the daily work of our respective vocations because more mindful of Him "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:3), and thus deepened in our consciousness of his abiding presence, his faithfulness to all generations.