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UM Seal Guidelines and History

History of the Official Seal of the University of Missouri

The seal, adopted by the Board of Curators on 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 newsness 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.

Downloading the UM Seal

To request permission to use the seal, contact University Relations at 573-884-1409.

Campus Logos and Guidelines

UM Seal Guidelines

The distinctive and historic official seal of the University of Missouri is the only symbol of the UM System. The seal embraces all elements of the UM System and is broadly recognized, displayed, reproduced and respected by the university's constituencies.

Under guidelines adopted by the University of Missouri Board of Curators July 18, 1996, the official seal of the university should be used by administrative offices of the university.


Campus offices are authorized to use either the university seal or the approved campus logo for official business, as directed by the appropriate chancellor.

Rules for Using the University Seal

  • University of Missouri System administrative offices will use the university seal. Whenever possible, campuses should use the campus symbol approved by the chancellor.
  • Use of the seal is restricted to publications, letterhead, business cards and licensed uses, as described in these guidelines. The seal is not to be used on official documents, such as certificates or diplomas issued by a body other than the board of curators. This is because in addition to being the university symbol, the seal is the curators' legal mark, and only the curators are authorized to place its imprint on official documents.
  • The seal may not be adapted in any way. This rules out changing the seal's colors, reversing type on the seal, and using the seal in combination with other graphic elements. If the seal is used, it is to be used by itself. The seal may be printed in another color for instance, gold for design purposes on printed materials other than stationery or business cards. The seal may also be used as a reverse image, or as a combination of the negative and the positive image on material other than stationery or business cards. rules_reverse.gif
  • The seal is the property of the University of Missouri. The seal may only be used as specified in these guidelines and may not be used as a means of private or personal identification.
  • The seal may be used on webpages only by offices, organizations or units within the UM System including the campuses, health care and Extension. In most instances, the logo authorized by the appropriate campus will be used.

Licensed Uses of the Seal

The seal is university property and under the law enjoys protection from use by unauthorized groups.

In 1983, the university developed a licensing and trademark program to oversee and regulate the use of its name and identifying marks. The university benefits financially from licensing its identifying marks and in addition ensures that its symbols are used correctly on products of superior quality.rules_combina.gif

Persons or organizations wishing to license use of the seal, or persons who have questions about an unauthorized use of the seal, may contact the Licensing and Trademark Office, 319 Jesse Hall, UM-Columbia (573) 882-7254.

Stationery Guidelines 

  • Only the black on white version of the official seal as shown on the examples below is to be used on stationery and business cards.
  • One basic letterhead design is used for either 7 1/4" x 10 1/2" monarch or 8 1/2" x 11" stationery.
  • University Printing Services is the only supplier of university stationery. 
  • Stationery orders will be printed in one color, black on white.
  • Letterhead paper stock for all units will be white No. 1 sulfite bond.
  • No personalized letterhead will be printed.
  • Campus publications offices may reduce the symbol to fit bi-fold and half-size letterheads and accompanying envelopes.
  • Format may depart from the above guidelines for note pads that are: (a) smaller than 7" x 9" (b) padded, and (c) for internal use only.

Business Cards

  • Stock for business cards is white thinplate Bristol. Size is 3 1/2" x 2".
  • The business card is a convenient communications device indicating that the carrier is associated in some manner with the University of Missouri. It is not a miniature billboard for an individual or for organizations.
  • No extraneous symbols or slogans are allowed on the card. The person's title should be limited to the most appropriate, indicating his or her relationship to the university. The telephone number should be limited to the person's office number unless a compelling reason dictates an additional listing. 

Reviewed 2015-05-12.