Salford Staff Channel : News


Let us seek higher things - University granted coat of arms to mark 50th birthday

Feb 14, 2017

The history of Salford was honoured in a coat of arms which was granted to the University at a special ceremony last Friday in Maxwell Hall.

The presentation was made by Mr Timothy Duke, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms to Chancellor Jackie Kay MBE at the inaugural event in a special series to commemorate fifty years since the University received its Royal Charter in 1967.

Industry partners and local dignitaries were invited to this formal civic event to witness the occasion. A series of events will be held throughout this commemorative year for staff and students to attend.

Creating the coat of arms has been a painstaking task, with all elements combining to reflect the proud history and tradition of Salford.

In the centre is a shield depicting a rising sun within a cog and chain, representing industry, industriousness and mental processes. This aligns directly to the underlying ethos of the founding colleges in the late 19th century and the University’s primary focus today in developing excellent industry partnerships. This central element forms the new University logo launched last year.

The Lion represents bravery, strength and valour and carries a torch to represent truth and knowledge, whilst resting his foot on a shuttle, alluding to Salford’s history in the cotton and silk weaving industry.

The two antelope supporters that sit either side of the shield are taken from the coat of arms of the city of Salford and are adorned with the bees of Manchester. They are resting their feet on a mooring bollard, similar to those found at Salford Quays, where the University has a campus.

Beneath the coat of arms is the University motto, Altiora Petamus, meaning “Let us seek higher things”, describing a constant drive to achieve excellence.

The waves beneath the motto represent the waters that run through Salford; both the River Irwell and the Quays. 


An animation of the coat of arms and its meaning can be viewed here.


Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Marshall led the speeches, reflecting back on the University’s illustrious history and its plans for the future. She said:

“Today is a celebration of who we are - the University of Salford is more than the sum of our buildings and published journals - the University of Salford is you and me. It the people in this room – it is our students, our staff, our alumni, our civic community - the University of Salford is the sum of the achievements and the aspirations of staff and students past and present.

Today is also a celebration of what we have yet to achieve. The lives we have yet to transform, the knowledge we have yet to create. As I said earlier, we are passionate about creating a 21st Century version of our heritage through our industry collaboration zone strategy – and why wouldn’t we be – because what a heritage we have.”


Chancellor Jackie Kay read her poem written specially for the occasion with music entertainment coming from our Arts & Media staff and students. To read the poem in full, click here.



SOCIAL MEDIA: Take a look at some of the conversations on social media.