Sir George Williams
On November 15, 1937 the Board of Governors of Sir George Williams College considered a coat of arms and colours for the university. At the meeting of December 13, 1937 the Board approved a coat of arms based upon the original coat of arms of Sir George Williams, the founder of the YMCA. The description in heraldic terms was:
Gules, a dove, wings elevated or, encircled around the breast with an olive branch proper, a chief or, thereon an open book or on a triangle gules between two roses of the field, barbed and seeded of the third.
The book represents education, the triangle was symbolic of the YMCA concern with the whole personality - body, mind, and spirit. The rose is the heraldic symbol of the seventh son.
At that meeting the Board also approved a change in the colours of the College from Cambridge blue and white to gold and maroon.
In 1962 Sir George Williams University applied to the College of Arms for the right to bear arms officially and to have proper arms assigned to it.
On December 3, 1964 the College of Arms ascribed official arms to SGWU and gave it the legal right to bear them. The heraldic description was:
Murrey a Dove wings addorsed Or about the neck a wreath of Olive proper and charged on the wing with a Maple leaf Murrey. On a chief Or between two Roses Murrey barbed and seeded proper an inverted triangle Murrey surmounted by an open book Proper edged Or bound Azure.
Crest: on a wreath of the colours A Dove as in the Arms
Mantling: Murrey and Or
Loyola College did not have an official grant of arms, but informally used various versions of the ancestral arms of the Loyola family at the time of St. Ignatius. The arms included a double shield (common with Spanish families) for maternal and paternal strains, the families of Onaz and Loyola, wolves rampant and a cauldron to designate the plenty of the Loyola family, and seven bars to represent bravery shown by seven brothers at the Battle of Beotibar in 1321.
In 1974, with the approval of the Board of Governors, Professor David McKeen of the SGW English Department began negotiations with the College of Arms about the armorial bearings of the new university. The armorial bearings were designed by Professor McKeen to reflect the founding institutions, and included both the “Sun in his splendour,” long recognized in heraldry as a mark of Jesuit institutions, and the YMCA triangle, the whole intended to embody the spirit of Concordia.
On February 13, 1975, the Board of Governors approved the official Concordia colours white, gold and maroon, a combination of Loyola and SGW colours, and in keeping with the colours of the coat of arms. On December 23, 1976 , the new Armorial Bearings for Concordia University was officially granted by the College of Arms, London. On the ribbon stretched beneath the shield is the device ”Concordia,” signifying the University’s aspiration as well as its participation in the life of the City of Montreal, the motto of which is ”Concordia Salus.”
The official description is:
Pean a sun in splendour Or thereon an inverted triangle murrey surmounted by an open book argent edged Or bound azure. And for the crest, on a wreath argent, Or and murrey a sun in splendour Or thereon an inverted triangle murrey surmounted by an open book argent edged Or bound azure. Mantling, Murrey doubled argent and Or.
The official documents from the College of Arms for the armorial bearings for both Sir George Williams and Concordia are preserved in the Concordia Archives.
© Concordia University Archives, revised November 12, 2008
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