Coat-of-Arms of FDU

The Coat-of-Arms of
Fairleigh Dickinson University


The first Fairleigh Dickinson University coat-of-arms was a shield bearing a stylized version of the Castle on a maroon background. (The Castle, the original academic building of the university in Rutherford, Bergen County, New Jersey, is no longer part of FDU.)

When the Teaneck Campus was taken over from the bankrupt Bergen Junior College, the shield was divided in half: the Castle was placed in the upper part, and a swan was placed on the lower half on a wavy blue-and-white background. The swan symbolized the new campus, which ever since has tried to keep at least one of these cantankerous waterfowl in the decorative pond there; the wavy lines represented the Hackensack River (the blue color constituting a slight heraldic liberty). The swan also recalls the Queen's gift of two swans to the university on the occasion of the acquisition of the Wroxton Campus.

  When the Florham Madison Campus was added, the Castle was represented by a vestigial set of battlements, and three Lancastrian roses were added above. Madison, Morris County, New Jersey, is known as the "Rose City": rose culture was formerly a local agricultural pursuit. The roses are Lancastrian to accord with the political leanings of the North family, the ancestral owners of Wroxton Abbey.

The official heraldic description is:
Azure; a fess gules crenellated; on the chief three roses argent; on the base a swan argent.

A more elaborate coat-of-arms was designed and approved for the university by the Heralds of the College of Arms, appointed by the Queen (of England). It has seldom been used, but you may read of it in Dr. Sammartino's book Of Castles and Colleges (1972).

The university motto is placed on a ribbon below.

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