University of Southern California

Traditions

University Seal

The University of Southern California's original seal was developed in 1884. The seal showed the year of USC's founding written on a scroll next to a palm tree. In 1908, Jesse Ray Miller created a new seal. It included the Californian poppy, a symbol of remembrance, hope, joy, and growth. In 1948, the Board of Trustees approved an updated version of the university's seal. Poppies appear next to the shield, which is now formatted as a scroll. The Latin motto is emblazoned on a separate scroll at the bottom of the shield. This seal is still used to this day.

Tommy Trojan

On campus, there is a sculpture of a man. He has his sword drawn in his right hand and a raised shield in his left. For more than half a century he has been a symbol of the university. The Trojan symbolizes nobility, confidence, and poise. There is no enemy positioned against Tommy. His enemy could be pride, greed, or prejudice.

Motto

Palmam qui meruit ferat can be loosely translated from Latin as "let whoever earns the palm bear it." The motto reflects the significance of palms, palm fronds and other branches of foliage as symbols of triumph and victory. Over time, this saying has been used as a watchword by many organizations. They range from athletic clubs to educational institutes. It's even been used by high schools and the military.