The University of Kansas seal was chosen by KU’s first chancellor, the Rev. R.W. Oliver, in 1866. It was redesigned in 1964 by Elden Tefft, professor emeritus of art, for the university’s centennial.
What the seal means
The seal pictures Moses kneeling in awe before a bush engulfed in flames. The translation of the Latin inscription on the seal is “I will see this great vision in which the bush does not burn.” The story of Moses’ vision is from the third chapter of Exodus in the Bible. Fire symbolizes knowledge in many stories and myths. Moses is thought to represent the humble attitude of the scholar who recognizes the unquenchable nature of the pursuit of truth and knowledge.
Use of the seal
The seal may be used only on materials of an official or ceremonial nature, including diplomas and documents related to Commencement.
The seal may not be used as a logo or identity, a design element in recruitment materials, or a decorative element on invitations, note cards, or similar materials. The seal should not be used as a background graphic or design element. The seal is a federally registered trademark. Affiliates may not use the seal.
Clear space and minimum size
Clear-space requirements must be observed, except in special, pre-approved circumstances. The seal should not appear less than 1 inch.
The seal may be printed only in KU blue (PMS 293) or black. Reversing the seal out of a color is acceptable if done judiciously. When used on a dark background, the seal should have a white outline to provide contrast.
Do not print the seal using a four-color process blue or color build because of difficulties reproducing the fine lines within the seal.
Embossing the seal
The offices of the chancellor, executive vice chancellor at the KU Medical Center, university registrar, and the registrar’s office at the KU Medical Center have ownership and usage rights to devices that can emboss or impress the university seal on a document. No other office may own or use such a device. For information about embossing the seal, contact the Office of the University Registrar at the Lawrence or Medical Center campuses.