West Virginia University’s seal was designed by its first president, Reverend Alexander Martin, and adopted by the WVU Board of Regents on June 16, 1869. The center of the seal includes an outline of the campus (then only Woodburn Circle), hills behind the buildings to reflect the institution’s “stability,” and a rising sun to indicate its “prosperity.”
The motto in the inner circle Greek translates to: “Add to your faith virtue and to virtue knowledge” (from 2 Peter 1:5 in the King James Bible). The outer circle in Latin translates to: “Seal of the West Virginia University Established 7 February 1867.”
The Regent’s original, handwritten resolution adopting the seal is located in the University Archives in the WVU Wise Library.
Research by Anne Effland
The seal of West Virginia University can be found on both the Downtown and Evansdale campuses. The seal located in the circular drive at The Erickson Alumni Center is in memory of alumnus Jim Samuel. Jim was one of several alumni who died tragically on 9-11 while working in the World Trade Center. Jim loved WVU, and his best friend, Brian Martin and his family, honored his memory by placing the seal at the home of Mountaineers.
You may also find the seal located near the Life Sciences Building on the Downtown Campus.