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University of Calgary Calendar 2023-2024 About the University of Calgary Institutional Heraldry
Institutional Heraldry
Coat of Arms

The University of Calgary combines the best of long-established university traditions with Calgary's frontier spirit of originality and innovation.

Our logo was designed to reflect bold thinking and a connection with the origins of Calgary. The logo has two components: the crest and the wordmark. The crest represents and respects our historical heraldry while the more contemporary wordmark reflects our focus on the future.

The university also has an official Coat of Arms, which represents and respects our historical roots.

The Coat of Arms consists of a shield, an escroll containing the motto and the wordmark in vertical format.

The shield consists of two parts, the upper part (the chief) separated from the lower (the base) by an arched line symbolizing the Chinook arch. The ground colour of the chief is scarlet, commemorating the North West Mounted Police under whose influence Western Canada was settled. Upon this colour is a pair of open books bound in gold. Between the books is a white rose, symbolic of Alberta. The ground colour of the base is gold, indicative of golden sunshine or golden grain. Upon this is a black bull's head with red horns and crossed staves bearing red flags, reminiscent of the family crest of Lt. Col. J.F. Macleod, the NWMP officer who founded Fort Calgary.

Below the shield, printed on an escroll, is the university's motto, "Mo shuile togam suas" (translated as "I will lift up mine eyes"), rendered in Gaelic uncial letters. The scroll is white; the draped ends are red. They were granted to the university in 1966 by Lord Lyon King of Arms at Edinburgh.

Official Colours

The university has two official colours: red and gold.

Tartan

The University of Calgary has an official tartan that incorporates the university's official colours of red and gold in its design. It was designed by Jim Odell, a University of Calgary Education and Fine Arts graduate and accredited in a 2001 ceremony presided over by Duncan Paisley of Westerlea, President of the Scottish Tartans Society and director of the Register of All Publicly Known Tartans.

The Mace

Certain formal occasions involve the use of special regalia, the significance of which is now symbolic but most of which has practical origins. In early times the mace was used first as a weapon to protect and second as a symbol of authority.

The mace carried into Convocation is a symbol of the authority of the Chancellor. It represents the Crown and the authority vested in the Chancellor to grant degrees. It is always carried in front of the Chancellor at Convocation. One interesting tradition in the use of maces is that if the real authority (the Queen) was present in person, the mace would be inverted.