Santa Clara University

Presidential Inauguration, Fr. Michael E. Engh, S.J.

President’s Seal of Office

Seals were historically used to authenticate the origins of documents. Wax to seal the document was seared with the unique symbol of the government, university, or other office from which it came.

The seal that will be featured in the inaugural ceremony is similar to the one used by Fr. John Nobili, S.J., the founder and first president of the university.

In the center is a shield containing the signet of the Jesuit order: the first three letters of the Greek spelling of the word Jesus (IHS), over a cross, at the base of which are the three nails of the crucifixion.

An American eagle with fully extended wings perches atop the shield, holding the olive branch of peace in its talons. The almost simultaneous dates of the formation of the United States of America and the founding of the Mission Santa Clara are symbolized in the 13 stars above the eagle. Surrounding this are the words Universitas Sanctae Clarae in California.

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