Rivier University Seal

Altiora et Meliora: Higher and Better


The Rivier University official seal was conceived by Sister Madeleine of Jesus, p.m., Foundress of Rivier College, and was designed by the college’s first instructor in art, Sister François-Régis, p.m., Artist. It was adopted in 1933.

It is described as follows:

  • The field of blue (horizontal lines in the shield) and the lower field of gold (gray area in the shield) represent the colors of the Religious Order who directs Rivier University, the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary.
  • The white dove (in the shield) represents the Holy Spirit, the Author of the seven gifts that perfect the soul; hence, the moral development interpreted by the word “Meliora.”
  • The book (in the shield) is the symbol of Truth; hence the intellectual development interpreted by the word “Altiora.”   This completes the college motto: Altiora et Meliora.
  • The white lily or “fleur-de-lys” (under the dove, book and college motto in the shield) represents France, the country of origin of the Presentation of Mary.
  • Within the inner circle (above the shield at the top) is the papal coat of arms.
  • Within the inner circle, at the left are the initials “PM” for Presentation of Mary, the Religious  Order who founded Rivier College.
  • Within the inner circle, at the right are the initials “NH” for the State of New Hampshire.
  • Within the outer circle written in Latin are the words: Seal of Rivier College. Nashua. 1933.
Wood and Composite rendering of the Rivier University Seal.
Wood Carving of the Rivier University Seal

The university seal was redesigned for the 50th anniversary of the university by Assistant Professor of Art, Sister Theresa Couture, p.m.

Seal press
Seal Press, courtesy of the Rivier University Archives

You can also view a photograph of the original seal as described by Sister Madeleine of Jesus, with its English Translation, on Rivier University’s Regina Library Website.

"Did someone say 'seal?'"
No, this is not Rivier University’s official seal. But he is adorable, and glad you visited.