Crest: Lawrence Coat of Arms
Lawrence University, with the permission of the family of its founder Amos Lawrence, uses as its graphic symbol an adaptation of the arms "granted and confirmed by Patent dated 30 October 1562, to William Lawrence of St. Ives, county Huntington":
A shield of silver bearing a cross of red with embattlements in which the angles are to right angles. In the upper third of the shield against a red background is a double-tailed lion in gold, walking with the dexter paw raised and the head full-faced. Above the shield is the crest, the head of an antelope in black with five silver roundles on the head and neck. The antlers are in gold, the crest supported by a red and silver roll.
The current Lawrence University logo has simplified the original shield to facilitate reproduction in several media and to incorporate the university colors of blue, white and black. In addition, the lion has been replaced to reinforce our founding year, 1847.
Motto: Light! More Light!
The Rev. William Harkness Sampson, co-founder and first principal of Lawrence, designed the corporation seal for Lawrence University of Wisconsin in 1850. Still in use today on official university documents and in other formal contexts, Sampson's seal contains the English words "Light! More light!," followed by the Latin phrase Veritas est lux (Truth is light). Sampson explains the choice in his letter to the college's benefactor, Amos Lawrence:
'Light! More light!' were the last words of Goethe, to which 'veritas est lux' is the response; the book is placed in a cloud representing the darkness of the human mind, from which the light emanates and disperses the darkness.
Light also plays a role in the symbolism of Milwaukee-Downer College, which joined with Lawrence College in 1964 to form Lawrence University. The Milwaukee-Downer corporate seal contains the Latin motto Sit Lux: Let there be light.
Prior to the mid-1920s, Lawrence athletic teams were called the Blues or the Blue-”somethings” (for example, the swimmers were the Bluefins.) In January 1926, the sports staff of the student newspaper, The Lawrentian, held a contest to pick a new mascot or team name, the winner to go to the Lawrence-Hilltop basketball game in Milwaukee. The winner was Steven Cincowsky '29, and the vote was Vikings 252, Blue Jays 56, Trojans 46.
The Viking name did not take a firm hold until 1929, when the Ariel yearbook took on a Viking theme. Now, generations of Lawrence athletes have proudly competed under the Vikings name. A new Vikings logo was adopted in 2021.
Lawrence had several school songs commissioned throughout its existence.
The Lawrence Alma Mater ("Hail to Our Alma Mater") was presented to the college by Dean William E. Harper of the Conservatory of Music in 1908-09. The Alma Mater of Milwaukee-Downer College was introduced by its Class of 1908.
"Go, Lawrence, Go" was written in 1940 by renowned band leader Fred Waring. The custom it describes -- sending a burning raft down the Fox River -- was an annual Homecoming highlight until the mid-1950s.
"In the Quest for Understanding" was commissioned for the celebration of Lawrence's 150th anniversary in 1997. The text was written by the Rev. Carl P. Daw of the School of Theology at Boston University. The music is based on the traditional melody, "Thaxted," popularized in this century by Gustav Holst's orchestral suite, The Planets.