ARTICLE Issue 004
The Story Behind Howard’s Seal
By Michael R. Winston, Ph.D. [Original publication: December 3, 1976]
Dr. Michael R. Winston
Reprinted from the Hilltop in 1976. Dr. Winston is currently academic counsel to the president of Howard University. He was formerly vice president for academic affairs from 1983 to 1990.
Howard University's Original Seal
Howard University's Current Seal
When the new Howard University Museum in the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center opens its inaugural exhibition in February, visitors may be surprised to find in one section, devoted to the University’s early history, the original corporate seal of Howard University. It is very unusual for a university to change its seal, and some institutions have maintained the same one for centuries. (The University of Paris seal, for example, dates from 1292). The story of the change at Howard provides an interesting glimpse of an aspect of the University’s history that is now virtually forgotten.
Adopted in 1867, the original Howard seal illustrated the daring concept developed by Senator Samuel C. Pomeroy of Kansas and General O.O. Howard of a democratic university open to men and women of all races. The student body included, in addition to Black and white Americans, Chinese, West Indians, Africans and American Indians.