Heraldry of Harvard University

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Harvard University adopted an official seal soon after it was founded in 1636 and named "Harvard College" in 1638; a variant is still used.

Each school within the university (Harvard College, Harvard Medical School, Harvard Law School, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, etc.) has its own distinctive shield as well, as do many other internal administrative units such as the Harvard College residential "Houses" and the Harvard Library. Many extracurricular organizations‍—‌such as clubs, societies and athletic teams‍—‌have their own shield as well, often based on the coat of arms of Harvard itself.

Harvard University coat of arms[edit]


The Harvard University coat of arms, or shield, has a field of the color "Harvard Crimson" and, in the foreground, has three open books with the Latin word VERITAS ("truth") inscribed across them. This shield provides the basis for the shields of Harvard University's various schools.


The Harvard Board of Overseers originally designed the shield during meetings in December 1643 and January 1644. However, the design was forgotten until rediscovered by University President Josiah Quincy and revealed in the bicentennial celebrations of 1836. In 1843, the Harvard Corporation officially adopted it as a seal, and the seal in use today is very similar.[1]


  1. ^ "History | Harvard University". Harvard University. Retrieved 2015-11-24.


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