History of

Florida Southern College's Seals

A Digital Exhibit by Emily Allen, Work-Study Student

Florida Southern College’s official seal has had many evolutions over the decades including the addition of a Coat of Arms and an alternative seal known as the Chapel Seal.
 
 
  1906 Seal
1906 Seal

The original seal dates back to 1906 and has the date represented as Roman Numerals on the bottom of the seal. 1906 is the year Florida Seminary School became Southern College.

The shield in the middle of the seal contains seven stars. These stars represent hope and the brightest constellation in the Southern Sky the Southern Cross.

The original seal also has three Latin inscriptions surrounding the shield: Lux, or light;  Sapientia, or wisdom; and Lex, or law. Light was placed first because no knowledge is possible without it. Wisdom was placed second because it is believed by means of illumination that the soul grows in wisdom. Law was placed last due to there is no real law except that which is born in the human soul from the light and wisdom.

 
 
 
  Current Seal
Current Seal

The current seal of the college was first used in 1945 at the dedication of the E.T. Roux Library. This seal is also painted on the west side of the cafeteria.

One of the changes was the reversing of the Latin inscription. It was believed that the right hand of a seal is the more important side and therefore Light should be placed on the right side of the shield.

Another change to the original seal includes the addition of Palm trees, an orange tree, the Hindu shrine, and Annie Pfeiffer chapel. The addition of the two structures were to represent the modern architectural design of the campus. They also symbolize the universality of truth and religion and the extremes in thought and beliefs that are represented at Florida Southern College. The orange tree represents the orange groves that spread all over campus.

The last change to the original seal was the replacement of the Roman numeral date of 1906 with the date of 1885 at the top of the shield. 1885 is the year of the College’s founding.

 
 
 
  Chapel Seal
Chapel Seal

Florida Southern also has the Chapel Seal, also known as the Frank Lloyd Wright Seal. This seal was designed by request of President Ludd Spivey. He believed that Florida Southern needed a school seal with a more definite bearing to the campus itself.

The Annie Pfeiffer Chapel was chosen to be the centerpiece of the seal because it depicted Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence on the campus of Florida Southern.

 
 
 
  Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms

The College also has a Coat of Arms representing the universal scope of education and was designed by alumna Julia Cousins in 1942. The helmet and its gallant plume signifies the “quest for the Grail of Knowledge.” The quill and the scroll are representative of the communication and exchange of ideas. And lastly the Seven stars of learning along with the three pillars of wisdom are representative of the school’s objectives.

 
 

A college seal is an endeavor to give some indication in a visible symbol of ideals of the school. In planning the seal for Florida Southern college, the highest ideals of Christian education were kept in mind. Upon this firm and abiding basis, has Southern been founded, and to the high ideals has it been dedicated.

— Ronald Elderkin, Former FSC Professor of Archaeology and College Archivist