The seal, adopted by the University of Missouri Board of Curators March 31, 1903, was designed by Dr. John S. Ankeney, then an art teacher in the College of Arts and Science.
Here briefly is an explanation of various parts of the seal:
The open book at the top of the crest contains the Latin words Salus Populi, the university’s motto. It means “The Welfare of the People.”
The other three symbols on the seal are a crescent, a grizzly bear and the arms of the United States of America. All were adopted from the Great Seal of the state of Missouri.
The crescent denotes newness of the then-new state; the bear represents the rugged, positive character of the inhabitants of Missouri; and the arms of the U.S.A. symbolize the patriotic love of country possessed by Missourians.
The circular band on the outside border contains the Latin words Sigill Universitatis Missourien, meaning “Seal of the University of Missouri.” The Roman numerals denote 1839, the year the university was established.