BA (International Honours): coat of arms

Samantha Lister
Wednesday 22 June 2016

Creation of the coat of arms

The BA(International Honours) is a joint degree programme established in 2011 by the University of St Andrews and the College of William & Mary in Virginia, USA. This coat of arms was created out of a desire for the Programme to be represented in each University’s unique heraldry and symbols, but also as a symbol which unites shared experiences.

Designed by the Ormond Pursuivant and by Andrew Hashim and Abigail Gomulkiewicz, two students from the first cohort of the Joint Degree Programme, the coat of arms is used by both students and alumni in matters concerning the Programme and their experience of it. The Ormond wrote the petition to The Lord Lyon King of Arms for a Grant of Arms to be used for and in conjunction with the Programme. The Lord Lyon granted the request.


The Latin motto: ‘quaerite adsidue eruditionem’ translates as ‘seek to constantly learn’.

The crossed keys represent the College of William & Mary, the University of St Andrews and the BA (International Honours) Joint Degree Programme. They are intertwined to symbolise the strength of the relationship.

The gold diamonds (or mascles) are taken from the personal arms of Henry Wardlaw, Bishop of St Andrews 1404 – 1440, who issued the original charter which incorporated the Studium Generale in 1411 or 1412.

Featured in the William & Mary Coat of Arms, the sun rising represents the fountain of life and is indicative of glory and splendour.

An open book with red page edges traditionally represents learning.

The Griffin is a mythical creature with the body of a lion evoking historic royal founding and early history and the head of an eagle which suggests the national symbol of the United States and represents the presidents, leaders, and productive citizens whom William & Mary has trained for centuries.

The lion rampant is taken from the royal arms of Scotland and represents the royal authority of King James I (1406 – 1437) who was associated with the foundation of the University of St Andrews.

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