ad U.S. Heraldic Registry � Registrations/Notre Dame, University of?




University of Notre Dame

Registration number 20061022S

This certifies that the heraldic arms of the University of Notre Dame are registered as an original design and are described by the blazon below

Arms: Azure, a passion cross patty at the extremities Or, issuant of a champagne barry wavy of four Argent and the First, in dexter chief a mullet of six points of the Third, and over all an open book proper charged with the words VITA DULCEDO SPES in letters Sable.


From the site

Design rationale

The University's coat-of-arms was designed by Pierre Chaignon de la Rose of Harvard University and was adopted by Notre Dame's Board of Directors in 1931. Before that time, whenever the University needed a shield design, it simply used the arms of the Congregation of Holy Cross. A growing university like Notre Dame, though, needed something distinctive, which prompted Father Charles O'Donnell, then university President, to commission a design. Once it was finished, it was published in the February edition of Scholastic magazine and the Notre Dame Alumnus, and it received kudos from alumni and students alike.

The symbolism of the arms draws upon various images of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The star and the waves allude to one of her titles, "Star of the Sea." The colors of the arms and the words on the book also allude to the Blessed Virgin. The other symbols are of the University's mission: the cross for the speading of the Gospel, and the open book for teaching and learning.

Strangely enough, the University never kept the blazon, or technical description, of the arms. Whether they received one along with the design is unknown. Chaignon de la Rose was a professional herald, so he would have wrote a blazon of the arms at some point in the design process. Even though the official blazon no longer exists, the above blazon according to D'Arcy Boulton, Concurrent Professor of History at Notre Dame and a professional herald who designed the College of Arts and Letters' arms, is a close approximation.

Registered by

Michael Swanson


Education, US, N

Roll of Arms