The Seal of our University
The seal of Fordham University was designed to acknowledge the presence of the members of the Society of Jesus, who have been associated with Fordham University since 1846; hence, the Coat of Arms of the Society in the center of the seal. Around this central fact is grouped the name of the University, the date of its founding, its motto and its various schools.
The Coat of Arms of the Society of Jesus bears the Greek letters of the lapidary form of the name of Jesus - I H S - with the cross resting on the crossed line of the H, the three nails beneath, all in gold in a field framed in maroon, the color of the University, with silver fleur-de-lys on the edge of the maroon frame, in remembrance of the French Jesuits who arrived in 1846.
Immediately above the central shield rests the laurel crown enclosing the tiles of the areas of learning of the college when it was first granted university status in 1907: arts, science, philosophy, medicine, and law.
Below the central shield is a blue scroll with the motto of the University, Sapientia et Doctrina. The scroll rests on a gold field emblematic of learning (doctrina); scattered over the field are fiery tongues emblematic of the Holy Spirit of Wisdom (sapientia), as evinced on the first Pentecost.
In a circular maroon field edged with laurel-colored beads is the title of the University (Universitas Fordhamensis). At the lower edge of the circular field is the date of the founding of the University, 1841.
Finally,surrounding the entire seal is a heraldic belt. The belt is used as a stylistic decoration to the seal. However, Oxford University, one of the few schools that uses the belt in its seal, maintains that without the belt, the seal is not official.
Reviewed August 2014