Little known facts: Love ye truth and justice

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The university seal.

One of the great wonders of the University of Dallas experience is our shared reading of Plato’s “Republic. Every freshman reads it, or at least is supposed to, and its lessons on justice remain with us through senior year and beyond.

Justice is at the core of our studies, and thus it is rightfully brandished on the seal in our motto: “Veritatem, Justitiam Diligite. Love Ye Truth and Justice.”

With a more widespread use of the university’s seal, it is a perfect time to take a closer look at the seal.

What does it stand for and how was it created?

As before, find your favorite spot on campus, maybe your favorite newspaper-reading buddy, and nestle in for some fun UD facts. Here’s the tell-all on the seal.

Commissioned in conjunction with the university’s opening in 1956, the seal perfectly captures the essence of the university in a localized and comprehensible manner, and can be broken down into three distinct layers.

First, the central figure represents our Catholic faith. It consists of a triquetra interwoven with a triangle, forming a double symbol of the Holy Trinity. This is enclosed in a circle symbolising the unity and eternity of the Godhead, and its red backdrop represents holy zeal.

Next, the inner octagon contains several symbols relating to the university’s location and tradition. At the top of the octagon is the fleur-de-lis, which represents both the Virgin Mary and the Cistercian monks who helped found UD. The octagon itself is green, representing the liturgical season of the Holy Trinity.  

There are also several symbols of Texas and the Irving campus: the oak branch on the left, the shield on the left brandishing a Texas star, and the three wavy lines on the bottom which represent the Trinity River, located just north of campus.

Lying opposite all of these symbols is an olive branch, referencing Italy and the Due Santi campus in Rome.

Furthermore, the torch of liberty and learning, presented on the shield on the right, encapsulates everything that the UD education strives to achieve through us, her students: liberty of the mind, the body and the soul through learning.

Finally, the outer circle depicts UD as a center for learning, stating the founding date of the university, 1956, the name of the university in Latin, and most importantly, the university’s motto: Veritatem, Justitiam Diligite.

In this quotation taken from Zechariah 8:19, the author presents us with a command: “Love ye truth and justice.”

UD is a special place. Dr. Louise Cowan said that the university defines itself as a center for learning, not just a teaching institution, according to Parker Novey, a student worker in the library archives.

The spirit of UD is not confined to the classroom, nor is it limited just to teaching. The spirit of UD is found within the fiery souls of the university’s students, faculty and leaders — there resides a love of learning for its own sake, a vigor to seek the truth wherever it leads, and the resilience to try, and try again when the mark is missed. This is the identity of our university, and it is captured in that simple command.

Veritatem, Justitiam Diligite. Love and seek out in your life truth and justice.

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