Assumption University

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ASSUMPTION UNIVERSITY

Country: Canada
Campus/location :

Coat of arms (crest) of Assumption University

Official blazon

Arms : Azure a fesse embattled and enarched or masoned sable between three lily flowers proper winged gold all within a bordure of the last.
Crest : Out of a coronet composed of fleurs de lys or and maple leaves gules set alternately on a rim gold a stag's head and neck affrontée proper between the antlers a cross sable rayonée also gold.
Supporters : (Dexter) a wolf; (sinister) a bear, both proper.
Motto: Bonitatem et discipli¬nam et scientiam doce me.

Origin/meaning

The arms were officially granted on March 3, 1955.

The design alludes, in part, to some aspects of the history not only of this academic institution, but also of the parish from which it sprang. In 1748 a Jesuit Mission to the Huron Indians moved to la Pointe de Montréal on the south bank of the Detroit River. French colonists soon settled about the mission, and by about 1800 they were almost the sole occupants as the Indians had gradually moved away. Thus began the parish which is the oldest in Canada west of Montreal which grew le Collège de l'Assomption which was founded in 1857.

The arms show a symbolic bridge which recalls the Ambassador Bridge over the Detroit: a landmark with which, on its Canadian side, a part of the university estate is contiguous. The charges of winged lilies are obvious cants upon the dedication of the institution (the lily for St. Mary, assumption meaning rising to heaven). The colours, blue and gold, have a threefold origin: first, blue is the traditional colour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the patroness of the university; second, gold was added in 1953 to the former academic colours of purple and white; and third, blue and gold are the livery colours of the benefactor whose generosity made the grant of arms possible.

The fleurs de lys of the crest coronet recall the French origin of Assumption; the red Canadian maple leaves, her members who were killed in the two World Wars. The Stag's head is taken from the heraldic device used by the City of Windsor (Ontario) while the Greek cross refers to St. Basil the Great. He is the patron of the Basilian Congregation, members of which have formed the academic corporation since 1870. The sun's rays behind the cross are a pun on the popular name for the local County of Essex: the Sunparlour of Canada.

The dexter supporter derives from the arms of St. Ignatius Loyola whose Society of Jesuits founded not only the original Mission, but also le Collège de l'Assomption. The sinister supporter refers to the Honourable and Right Alexander MacDonell, first Bishop of Kingston.

Fittingly, the motto, taken from Psalm 15, is that of the Basilian Congregation which has been responsible for the main development of the corporation during a period which now approaches a century.


Literature : Image and information from Swan, 1958