U.S. Universities and Colleges

Heraldry in the United States
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JMcMillan
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby JMcMillan » 08 Feb 2016, 02:04

The other two Ivy League universities:

Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., founded in 1865. Although this looks like a seal, it is not the university seal (which is a profile bust of the founder and namesake, Ezra Cornell). It is an "emblem" and the device on the center that looks like a coat of arms is a "shield" or (brace yourselves) "crest," both adopted in 1910 as something that would be more appropriate for decorative use than the seal. Unfortunately, like many American universities, Cornell has fallen under the sway of brand consultants and so the use of both the emblem and the shield requires special permission. For ordinary purposes, people at Cornell are supposed to use the "logotype," which is a simplified line drawing of the "emblem" without colors or indication of colors.

The words on the book are a quotation from Cornell when he founded the institution. The escutcheons on the chief are those of the United States and the State of New York (the sky on the latter should be proper, or bleu celeste).

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Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., founded in 1769, partly with the mission of educating the area's Indians, hence the figures on the shield. This is a modern derivative of the shield on the college's original seal. As far as I know, no tinctures are prescribed. It's usually depicted in varying combinations of green and white, the college's colors. Understandably, there have been several attempts to revise this to make it more heraldic, without any traction being gained. See some fairly good ideas beginning at http://www.dartmo.com/proposal/index.html.

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Joseph McMillan
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Michael F. McCartney
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 09 Feb 2016, 04:29

Thanks for sharing the Dartmouth proposal - interesting and well done, though if I were an alum (which I'm not) maybe the building wouldn't be my first choice for the main charge - or maybe it would? But the proposal presents a simple process, whether or not the result is the same.
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby GSelvester » 09 Feb 2016, 20:19

While it is not among the great institutions of higher learning in the minds of most I wanted to post the armorial seal of my own alma mater: St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania.

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The arms on the seal show the coat of arms of the Sacred Heart Province of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Penance (the Order that owns and administers the university) impaled with arms particular to the university. The campus is located in a mountainous area of central Pennsylvania. The mountainside shown in gules and argent (the university colors) alludes to this and the school is known as the "college among the pines" hence the single pine tree proper to refer to this. The book in chief does not contain the letters "O" and "I" as it may appear. Rather the circle represents the infinite (as in the study of theology and philosophy) and the single line the finite sciences. This a on a book for knowledge with rays of light enlightening the mountainside (i.e. the campus). Not thrilling, but also not terrible either.

SFU's sister school is the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. In this one the armorial seal shows the arms of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Penance impaled with arms based on those of Baron Von Steuben with an addition of the image of the Sacred Heart (for the Province of TOR Franciscans which runs the school) for the university.

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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby GSelvester » 09 Feb 2016, 20:33

Another fine university (which, when I attended it for one year back in 1982 was the largest Catholic university in the USA and today ranks third) is St. John's University in New York. This venerable institution, by far larger than Georgetown, Boston College, Villanova, or Notre Dame, also has a very nice coat of arms. (depicted below on a commemorative NY state license plate)

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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 11 Feb 2016, 07:58

My wife's alma mater, the University of San Francisco, is a Jesuit institution in the City by the Bay using a modified version of the arms of the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius de Loyola.

St Ignatius was a soldier from a Spanish Basque military family who turned to the religious life after being severly wounded. From a portrait of Ignatius in armor in Wiki, his arms apparently impaled to dexter, Argent a caldron between two wolves, apparently all Proper, and dexter, Or seven bendlets Gules (or maroon). The University uses essentially a mirror image, with dexter seven bendlets sinister, and sinister the cauldron and wolves, adding above the wolves a chief with the letters USF palewise in bend, the whole in the school colors of green and gold.

Wish I could include an image, but that's beyond my technical competence :(
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Chris Green
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby Chris Green » 11 Feb 2016, 08:28

There is one colour image of USF's CoA that I can find, but it must be purchased. Here is a B&W version.

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In 2011 USF rebranded itself. Here is its current logo:

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I must say that the logo is a very effective one, the inward and outward pointing arrows making the cross. Impossible to blazon of course. But were someone brave enough to breach USF's copyright and use it as a charge in their own CoA, it might be described I suppose as a "Cross of San Francisco".
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby JMcMillan » 11 Feb 2016, 12:57

As a whole, Catholic colleges and universities in the United States are more likely to have good heraldry than most other categories, although I'm afraid you couldn't prove it with USF. Unfortunately, they're as susceptible as any to the evil deeds of the branding consultants. Two other Jesuit schools have very nice arms:

The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. ("Vigornii" on the rim of the seal is Latin for "in Worcester") coat of arms:
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has been almost entirely supplanted by this overpriced kindergartener's scribble.
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Boston College, in the Boston suburb of Chestnut Hill:
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(The three hills in base are a frequent symbol for Boston in both Catholic and secular arms, depicted variously as shown here or as an Italian-style hill of three coupeaux. The two crowns in chief suggest the three crowns from the arms of Boston, Lincolnshire, also widely used in Boston, Mass., arms and seals; the third in this case is replaced by the Jesuit badge of the letters IHS irradiated.)
Last edited by JMcMillan on 11 Feb 2016, 16:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby Chris Green » 11 Feb 2016, 14:21

"Vigornia" must be a medieval Latin name for the city that is now Worcester, England, for it was not called such in Roman times. Indeed, though a settlement certainly existed there, its name is unrecorded in any contemporary text. The earliest post-Roman text (c 7th C) suggests the Latin name may have been "Vertis". By that date it would already have been renamed in old English "Wiogoranceastre" and "Vigornia" is simply a latinisation of that name.
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby JMcMillan » 11 Feb 2016, 17:05

Another of the many private universities in the Boston area, this one actually known as Boston University (my wife's alma mater). In my opinion, a lovely coat of arms that, like so many others, has become is practically invisible in the school's contemporary public identity. Fortunately, it's more-or-less permanently carved and cast in various pieces of campus architecture. The cross reflects BU's Methodist origins (it no longer has any sectarian affiliation except for the School of Theology), and it's an easy assumption that the disuse of the arms reflects discomfort with Christian identity. But the non-armorial seal is still widely used, and it also has the cross on it. So I guess the issue is hostility to heraldry, not to Christianity.

BU.jpg


BU Brass.jpg


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Iain Boyd
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Re: U.S. Universities and Colleges

Postby Iain Boyd » 11 Feb 2016, 20:46

Re the arms of Boston University -

the three coronets will undoubtedly refer to the three coronets in the arms of the former Borough of Boston, Lincolnshire, England which were recorded at a Visitation on the 1st December 1568.

See <http://www.civicheraldry.co.uk/lincs_ob.html#boston%20fbc>.

Regards,

Iain Boyd


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