Despite Many Changes, Samford
Seal Retains its Official Aura
in a seal, or more specifically, the Samford University seal?
That all depends on which of the at least 14 versions you
The Samford seal has been around almost as long as the school
itself, placing the institution's official stamp on such formal
documents as diplomas, commencement and dedication programs,
and the like.
But over the years, that official stamp has changed such components
as the year the school started, the school motto, artistic
features and even the name of the institution itself.
And that dates back only to 1858, 17 years after the school
was chartered as Howard College. Were there earlier seals
that history has lost?
Despite its inconsistent appearance, the seal has retained
an aura of officialdom. That's especially true of the current
seal, for this version was formally adopted by the Samford
Board of Trustees just last May, only the second to be voted
on by the board.
features an updated motto, Deo Doctrinae Aeternitati, a reflection
of Samford's mission, "for God, for learning, forever." It incorporates
oak leaves and acorns that refer back to Sherman Oak on the East
also refer to the great potential in small beginnings--a theme applicable
to each student and to the institution," noted Samford President
Thomas E. Corts.
Even though there have been many changes over the years, most have
been minor. Major alterations have included adding the first school
motto, Deo et Doctrinae, translated "for God and learning,"
in 1906; adding the year classes started (1842), also in 1906; changing
the name from Howard College, in 1965; and changing the year to
1841, the school's charter date, in 1972.
Trustees previously adopted only the 10th version, in 1951. And
that was only after trustee Memory L. Robinson, a prominent attorney,
said he felt adopting a slightly changed seal would not effect its
With all the changes since 1858, at least two factors have been
constant. The seal has remained official, and it has remained round.