When Old Dominion University (ODU) became independent in 1962, one of the first orders of business was to create a seal for the new college. Adopted in 1963, the seal incorporates the history and origin of Virginia. The central portion of the seal is a modified version of the royal arms of the Stuarts, the ruling family of England during the 17th century. Inside the large shield are the four shields of England, Scotland, Ireland, and France, the four dominions claimed by British sovereigns from the 1420s until 1801. From the top left, repeated on the first and fourth quadrants, which are also divided into fourths, are the three leopards of England in the second and third quarters and three fluers-de-lis of France in the first and fourth quarters. The second quadrant of the central shield depicts the lion rampant of Scotland, and the third quadrant depicts the harp of Ireland. Over the center of the cross is the coat of arms of the College of William & Mary, granted by the College of Heralds in England in 1694, indicating Old Dominion’s origins as a division of that institution. Surrounding the shield were the words “Old Dominion College” at the top and the year of its founding, 1930, at the bottom. Colors in the seal are light azure or sky blue, carmine red, mustard yellow, emerald green, and ultramarine. The lettering is a Helvetica regular typeface.
Approved in 1973, the seal was changed to include “Old Dominion University” to incorporate the establishment of the university in 1969. A flag with the university seal was approved in 1974 to hang on an aluminum pole outside the New Administration Building, now Donna L. and James V. Koch Hall.
Kaufman Mall Seal
During renovations to the mall in the 1990s, a new student tradition was created that stipulated that, while you are a student at ODU, if you step on the university seal on Kaufman Mall, you will not graduate. During the traditional walk across campus during Commencement exercises, all graduating seniors are allowed to step on the seal as new alumni of the university; only alumni are allowed to step on the seal.
- Old Dominion University Photographic and Multimedia Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Perry Library, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, 23529.
- ODU Photographic Collection, Old Dominion University Libraries Digital Collections, Old Dominion University Libraries.
- Building the University, Old Dominion University Libraries Digital Exhibit, 2005.
- Office of the President Records. James L. Bugg, Jr. Records, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529.
- Office of the President Records. Lewis W. Webb, Jr. Records, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529.
- Bookman, Steven and Jessica Ritchie. Old Dominion University: A Campus History Series. Arcadia Publishing. Charleston, South Carolina, 2017.