University Seal Columbia College

The Columbia University is situated in New York City. Established in 1754, it was the fifth university in the U.S.A. - the first one in the State of New-York. The institution was established as King's College by Royal Charter of King George II of Great Britain. In 1784, after the War of Independance, the name of the University changed. It renamed in honour of the discoverer of America, Columbus. The motto of the University is “In lumine Tuo videbimus lument”, which means “By Your Light - We Shall See Light” (based on Psalm 36:9).

At present the University has about 22,000 students, divided over more than 20 faculties and study directions. The University has a high reputation in the scientific area, which has contributed to them winning 72 Nobel Prizes.

The university can be proud of a number of ex-students, amongst them several American presidents. U.S. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt (pres. 1901-1909) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (pres. 1933-1945) both studied law at Columbia. Dwight D. Eisenhower (pres. 1953-1961) was president of the University before making his bid for the White House. U.S. President Barack Obama received his undergraduate degree at Columbia in 1983.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons (© Urban)
Licenses: GNU / FDL / Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License


The seal of the Columbia University in New York was, up to some years ago, shown on the website of the University. Nowadays they are using a simple and more modern design, on which a crown is represented. Nevertheless much importance is still attached to the seal and it is still represented on diplomas of the university. The seal can also be found at least ten times inside the buildings of the University.

The history of the seal goes back to 1755. It was at that time designed by the current president of the University, Prof. Samuel Johnson, and it was approved by the presidents of King’s College. The seal shows that Christian standards and values were of high importance to the university. There are no less than five symbolic references to God and the Bible contained in the seal.

Photo: (© Absentminded) / License: GNU / FDL


We can see on the seal a lady depicted on a throne, with some very young children around her. They represent the students, referring to the first Letter of Peter 2:1, 2: “Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word”. She is holding a Bible in her right hand, on which is written “Logia zonta” (“Living Words”), taken from Acts 7:38. She is saying the words: “Al Auri” (“God is my light”) taken from Psalm 27:1. In the background we see the rising sun, based on a prophecy from Malachi 4:2. God's name is given great importance, written in Hebrew, inside an aureole, with a reference to Psalm 36:9. Finally we see around that the Latin text: “Sigillum Collegii Columbia Novi Eboraci” (Seal Columbia University New York).


Picture: (© Absentminded) / License: GNU / FDL.


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