What Is the FDU Motto, and What Does It Mean?
The motto of Fairleigh Dickinson University is
Fortiter et Suaviter
It was suggested by the founder, Dr. Peter Sammartino, while the coat-of-arms
of the university was being designed by Loyd Haberly, Dean. The motto means
"Bravely and Pleasurably."
Dr. Sammartino recounted that Admiral Hyman Rickover once visited the college
and asked what the motto meant. When told, he remarked (in his usual sour
and untactful manner), "Well, that's a dumb motto. Because I've seen
more men killed while they did things bravely than I care to remember. And
if you try to have fun while you're doing things, nothing ever gets done."
How different was this personality from Dr. Sammartino's!
Dr. Sammartino himself called the motto "corny," but wrote: "The
motto still remains, and I like it. It isn't so stuffy as other mottos,
and it conveys the idea of our experimental turn of mind."
Return to FDU history page.