Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts HistorySauer, Anne
Coat of Arms, 1939-66
In 1939 a coat of arms was adopted for Tufts College. Prior to that time, the college seal was used on both official and unofficial documents associated with the college. Leonard Carmichael advocated the adoption of a coat of arms for use to represent Tufts on unofficial documents, arguing that use of the seal should correctly be used only to authenticate diplomas and other documents issued by the Board of Trustees. To that end, a coat of arms was developed and authorized for use by any member of the Tufts community, including graduates.
The arms were designed by Maurice Biscoe of Andrews, Jones, Biscoe, and Witmore, an architectural firm that designed several buildings on the Medford campus.
The shield, with a blue background, was divided into four quarters showing the sun, two books, and the descending dove with the motto on a ribbon below and leaves on either side. Brown was not used on the arms, despite being one of the college colors, because brown was not an appropriate color in heraldry. The exact shape of the shield and the use of leaves and ribbon motto could be altered.
As confusion arose in later years about when the seal or the coat of arms should be used, and the design of the seal was revised. The use of the coat of arms was discontinued in the mid 1960s.
The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.