Unveiled at the October 13, 2012 Fall Convocation ceremony by University of Lethbridge Board of Governors Chair Gordon Jong and Deputy Chief Herald Bruce Patterson, (representing the Canadian Heraldic Authority) the Coat of Arms draws inspiration from previous representations and has been designed to reflect signature elements of the University of Lethbridge.
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In 2008, the University of Lethbridge’s Board of Governors gave approval for the development of armorial bearings from the Canadian Crown under the powers exercised by the Governor General.
A group of individuals from across the University community worked with the Canadian Heraldic Authority, in particular Deputy Chief Herald Bruce Patterson and heraldic painter Robert Grey, to develop a coat of arms that would accurately represent the University now and into the future.
In January 2012, during the University’s 45th anniversary celebrations, Chief Herald of Canada Claire Boudreau granted the University of Lethbridge an official coat of arms, which is entered in volume VI, page 100 of the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada.
Description of the images and symbolism:
The arms features a blue shield with white edging and the University’s signature sun in the centre, representing intellectual enlightenment.
The eagle feather and the Alberta Wild Rose on the crest above denote the University’s location on traditional Blackfoot land in southern Alberta, while the books are enduring symbols of education.
The shield and crest are flanked on the left by a pronghorn, representing the University’s athletic teams, and on the right by a mule deer, a native inhabitant of the area. Together, they also represent the men and women who make up the University community.
The coulee landscape and rough fescue (the official grass of Alberta) are characteristic of southern Alberta, and the sun-grass-animal connection represents the flow of energy that supports all life and reminds us of our own connection with the landscape.
The rock below the shield recalls the name “Medicine Rock” bestowed on the University by Blackfoot Elder Bruce Wolf Child in 2002. It also alludes to glacial erratics, large rocks deposited in the area when the glaciers receded.
The miner’s lantern, an artifact of the early coal-mining history of Lethbridge, recalls the idea of the illumination of knowledge and symbolizes the achievements of the more than 34,000 University of Lethbridge alumni.
The University’s motto Fiat Lux (Let there be light) appears at the bottom of the coat of arms.
The University’s official flag, in use since 1988, was also registered as part of this process.
NOTE: Research through the U of L Archives and other sources indicated that the University had a Coat of Arms upon its founding in 1967, designed by then-student Don Matisz, but it had never been formally granted and the original design was used very sporadically by the University.
Some elements transitioned over the past decades into other logos, or different versions of a Coat of Arms / University Shield design -- all which led to this current version and the more contemporary University of Lethbridge logo currently in use.
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