Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Coat of Arms

Being in the Broome Street Residential College next year, I decided to contribute to the nascent organization by designing a coat of arms to represent us. It's a little bit complicated and so I don't know how reproducible it is, but then I guess no coat of arms or state seal really is, they were designed after all, to identify knights and the more complex the design, the least likely it would be copied.

I decided that our coat of arms should reflect what we hope to achieve this year in the college. Since we are a part of New York University, I have put it a picture of our logo, with the torch on its purple background, reflecting our school colors. The blue, white, and orange flag in the upper right hand corner is based on the flag of New York City and including it with the NYU logo reminds us of where we are and our mission of building a private university in the public service.

The Design in the bottom right is taken from Ghana and is a symbol of learning,“nea onnim”, which is representative of learning as a life long process. The green behind it is taken from Middle Eastern cultures, which use the color to signify learning. The dolphin might surprise some of you, it is taken from traditional heraldry, when the dolphin was seen as a symbol of charity. I wanted to represent this idea on the coat of arms because service is one of the goals of the residential college.

Anyone familiar with the university will recognize the bobcat towering over the shield. It is the mascot of NYU and though fierce, is caring and protective towards its young, nurturing them in full. The motto I have chosen for Broome Street: "Aut nunquam tentes, aut perfice." Translates roughly to: do not attempt, complete. I think that this is relevant to us because the Broome Residential College will have requirements for its residents and it expects these to be met as a condition of living here.

On the sides I have placed drawings of the Empire State Building, once again to remind ourselves that we are of the city and not the fields and the woods. Like the skyscraper, we aspire to great heights and lofty ideals.