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April 17 – The University Crest

Good Afternoon Celts,

Since UST’s earliest days, the crest on the university seal has been a powerful symbol of our community. The imagery emblazoned on the shield tells the story of not only where we came from, but also the future toward which we are headed.

The golden cross symbolizes the divinity of Christ the King, while the background of red represents His humanity. The dove and sun are symbols of our namesake, St. Thomas Aquinas. The star is for the “Lone Star State” and the Mother of Christ under the title “Star of the Sea.” The hyacinth reminds us of San Jacinto, where Texas won its independence, and the second dove is the symbol of St. Basil, patron of the Basilian Fathers. The motto, “Crescamus in Christo,” is a reminder that as we advance in knowledge and wisdom, we should also grow in love and service of Christ.

With a shield like that before us, I know that we can go fearlessly forward, taking on any challenge. According to legend, when ancient warriors met a challenge, they would come together and lock their shields as a bulwark to ensure the group’s strength and integrity.  A warrior might lose his spear and would still be integral to the group.  A lost shield, however, meant a threat to the whole. The shield was important to the protection of the warrior, but essential to the survival of the community. I like to think that our Celt community comes together with our shields in its own way, to advance society and make a positive and lasting change in this world.

For all of those reasons, and based on a considerable outpouring of support from the University community, in the coming months we will be returning to our roots and restoring the crest to prominence as our primary academic mark. The star logo will always be an important and treasured part of our University history. Please use the attachments to download the crest for your email signature and use the image gallery for additional digital purposes. If you have further questions, contact the Office of Creative Services at

As we determine where we are headed as a University, our crest reminds us to rediscover who we already are.

In unity and peace,

Richard Ludwick



About the Author — Richard Ludwick

AvatarRichard L. Ludwick became the 9th president of the University of St. Thomas on July 1, 2017. He previously served as president of the Independent Colleges of Indiana, the nation’s oldest association of 31 private, nonprofit colleges and universities enrolling more than 100,000 students. In that capacity, he led strategic initiatives in public policy at the state and federal levels, spurred innovative, intercollegiate collaborations, and successfully executed multi-million dollar philanthropic campaigns.

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