The now familiar University Insignia was decided upon by a committee
of three Board of Control members. Appointed by William Groening
and chaired by Charles Curtiss, this committee solicited suggestions
and reviewed about 20 samples. Because of President Marble's interest
in Egyptology, the committee encouraged designs with Egyptian iconography.
It was decided that a Latin motto was not essential. The committee
also intended that whatever its final choice of design, symbolism
should be sufficiently generic to avoid any particular religious,
ethnic or national origin. As Curtiss later reflected, "while the
symbols are Egyptian in origin, it would not be correct to assume
our intent was to be historically accurate in the translation of
The Insignia of SAGINAW VALLEY COLLEGE:
The flame (lower
left) might suggest mind, knowledge, understanding, and/or truth.
(lower right) might suggest body, work,
The human figure
(top center) might suggest soul, self, God, and/or wisdom.
Additionally, with the human figure at the apex of the triangle
and supported by the lower two icons, this design could suggest
combinations of meaning: soul over mind and body; wisdom over truth
and strength; self over knowledge and use of tools; and, truth over
light and assessment or evaluation (work). Really, the committee
seems to have intended to create a seal that would invite thought
and interpretation rather than one that would dictate a set of conventional
In the beginning
the college had a single color represented by the cardinal - chosen,
not because of its ornithological or its ecclesiastical significance
but simply because it is a beautiful color. The triangle was appealing
for obvious reasons: it could suggest how the College grew out of
the interest and work of three communities, especially that of the
Tri-County College Committee and how SVC was expected to serve these
communities as its primary constituency. Moreover, a triangle was
aesthetically appealing. The circle and date were added later, during
President Ryder's tenure.
SVSU - The Early and Formative Years, by Basil Clark
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Last modified April 24, 2001