Sedes Sapientiae : The Seat of Wisdom
It is a tradition handed down for centuries that Christians venerate the Mother of Christ as "the Seat of Wisdom". (Sedes Sapientiae)
According to Christian belief, Christ is the wisdom seated on the Throne. This implies, on the one hand, that the Mother of Christ is the Dwelling Place of the Supreme Wisdom of all science.
On the other hand, the university is the Alma Mater, or our Mother who is also the "Dwelling Place of Knowledge". In this context, "Assumption" which, besides its religious meaning in glorification of the Mother of Christ, has yet another meaning in Thai, namely" the Abode of Abiding Knowledge" Rightly, "Assumption University" is the Seat of Wisdom.
The Assumption University has adopted the Ashoka Tree as its symbol. The Ashoka Tree has as its scientific name "Polyalthea longifolia Benth & Hook. f. var. pandurata" of a Anonanceae Family, a native plant of India and Sri Lanka.
The Rationale behind the choice of the Ashoka Tree
The reasons why the University has taken it as its symbol are the following:
The Ashoka Tree is an ever-green tree. This fact signifies freshness, coolness, and constancy, unwavering with the turning of seasons and the changes of time. Thus, it means that the University is determined to fulfill its mission, giving emphasis to academic excellence together with quality and virtues.
The Ashoka Tree has a most beautiful form, majestically tall, like a stupa.
The Ashoka Tree is a tree with a beneficial name, because it derives from an Indian word "Ashok", after the name of King Ashok, the Great, the most well known king during Buddha's time, full of wisdom both in the secular and religious realms.
Lastly, it is the tree first brought from India into Thailand in 1957 by the St.Gabriel Foundation of Thailand, patrons of this university (by Bro. John Mary). This first tree was planted in the compound of St. Gabriel's College, and the Forestry Department of Thailand named it "St. Gabriel Ashoka" on 15th December 1969. Botanic Features of the Ashoka Tree
The Ashoka Tree is an ever green tree, of narrow-top can form and majestically tall. The bark is grey; its color becomes darker near the extreme top of the trunk, covered with leaves from the bottom to the top, so thick that the trunk's characteristics can hardly be clearly visible. Its leaves are lanceolate, about 0.5-0.7 inches wide, and 4-9 inches long. The widest part of the leaf is near the base; its rim is smooth, but twisted into a tide-like form. Its flower is white greenish shade, without odor, about 1.5-1.75 inches wide. Its fruit is ellipsoid, about 0.5 inches wide and 0.75 inches long, with smooth shiny skin; its color turns yellow, red, then finally black, when it is ripe. Normally, the ripening of the fruit OCCURS between July and August every year.