Mount Royal University Coat of Arms
In October 2009, the office of University Advancement put forward a proposal to petition the Canadian Crown for a Coat of Arms as one of Mount Royal’s Centennial initiatives. After much research, on July 16, 2010, a petition was forwarded for Mount Royal University to receive armorial bearings from the Canadian Crown under the powers exercised by the Governor General.
On April 15, 2011, Mount Royal University was granted a Coat of Arms by Claire Boudreau, Chief Herald of Canada, which is entered in volume vi, page 44, of the Public Register Of Arms, Flags And Badges of Canada.
The Coat of Arms was approved by Mount Royal’s Board of Governors on May 30, 2011, and was unveiled at the November 4, 2011 Installation Ceremony for Dr. David Docherty – Mount Royal University’s ninth President. The Coat of Arms is reserved for ceremonial occasions and is used with distinction on graduation diplomas.
Arms: The design is essentially that of the arms created in 1912 for the newly-created Mount Royal College by Vincent Massey, likely in collaboration with the artist Alexander Scott Carter. The colours of the original design have been replaced by the university’s colours of blue and white. The triangular shapes allude to the “Mount” of the university’s name, and the mace is a symbol of royal authority alluding to the “Royal” in the name.
Crest: The bighorn sheep is the provincial animal of Alberta. The book indicates that the university is a place of learning, and the dove is an allusion to its origins as a Methodist and then United Church college. The descending dove, symbolic of the Holy Spirit, appears on the emblem of the United Church of Canada as a mark of its Methodist component.
Motto: Meaning “How well, not how much”, this phrase has been the university’s motto since its foundation.
Supporters: Cougars refer to the name of the Mount Royal University sports teams. The rocky mountain base and the maces allude to the name Mount Royal.
Original concept of Vincent Massey (arms) and Bruce Patterson, Deputy Chief Herald of Canada (crest, supporters and colours) assisted by the heralds of the Canadian Heraldic Authority.
Painter: Linda Nicholson Calligrapher: Shirley Mangione
Mount Royal was founded in 1910 and opened its doors to students on September 7, 1911. Historically, Mount Royal has been graphically represented by various badges since 1911.
The Coat of Arms reflects the 100-year history of the institution and incorporates design elements from the 1912 Badge, which is attributed to Alexander Scott Carter. His Excellency, the Right Honourable Vincent Massey commissioned the 1912 Badge for Rev. Dr. George Kerby, Mount Royal’s first principal - it’s believed this was done as a personal favour to Kerby.
Alexander Scott Carter is one of Canada's pre-eminent heraldic artists (b at Harrow, Middlesex, England 7 Apr 1881; d at Toronto, Canada 30 Dec 1968). Carter moved to Toronto in 1912 and is acclaimed for his work throughout Canada, the United States and England.
Charles Vincent Massey, politician, diplomat, Governor General (b at Toronto, Canada 20 Feb 1887; d at London, England 30 Dec 1967) is best remembered as Canada's first native-born Governor General, a post he filled (in 1952) with distinction.
George William Kerby, a Methodist minister and founder of Mount Royal (b at Lambton County, Ontario 1860; d. at Calgary, Alberta 1944) served as Mount Royal’s principal from 1910 to 1942.
The original colours of green and gold selected for the 1912 Badge were later changed because the University of Alberta adopted green and gold for their coat of arms.
Upon his death, Dr. Kerby instructed that the drawing of the 1912 Badge be given to longtime faculty member Margaret Carrick, Dean of Girls and House Directress. When Carrick retired, Leonore Walters, Assistant Registrar, inherited the original drawing. Acting as its custodian, Walters instructed that the drawings remain with Mount Royal upon her retirement. The original now resides in Mount Royal University’s Archives.