University Seal

The University of Kansas seal was chosen by KU’s first chancellor, the Rev. R.W. Oliver, in 1866. It was redesigned in 1964 by Elden Tefft, professor emeritus of art, for the university’s centennial.

What the seal means

The seal pictures Moses kneeling in awe before a bush engulfed in flames. The translation of the Latin inscription on the seal is “I will see this great vision in which the bush does not burn.” The story of Moses’ vision is from the third chapter of Exodus in the Bible. Fire symbolizes knowledge in many stories and myths. Moses is thought to represent the humble attitude of the scholar who recognizes the unquenchable nature of the pursuit of truth and knowledge. 

Use of the seal

The seal may be used only on materials of an official or ceremonial nature, including diplomas and documents related to Commencement.

The seal may not be used as a logo or identity, a design element in recruitment materials, or a decorative element on invitations, note cards, or similar materials. The seal should not be used as a background graphic or design element. The seal is a federally registered trademark. Affiliates may not use the seal. 

Design Guidelines and Requesting the print version of the university seal

University Seal Policy

University Seal
Official Use Only

Embossing the seal

The offices of the Chancellor, Executive Vice Chancellor at the KU Medical Center, University Registrar, and the Registrar’s Office at the KU Medical Center have ownership and usage rights to devices that can emboss or impress the university seal on a document. No other office may own or use such a device.  

Questions about the policy or documents meeting the outlined policy for embossing the seal may be emailed to or brought to the 1502 Building at 1502 Iowa Street, Lawrence, KS. Documents will be available for pick up at the 1502 Building.  


Education documents being used internationally may require an Apostille (also called a certification or authentication) from the State of Kansas in addition to the University Seal. Students may either obtain an Apostille directly from the State of Kansas Office of the Secretary of State or have the Office of the University Registrar facilitate obtainment of an Apostille. 

To have the Office of the University Registrar facilitate obtainment of an Apostille, the following items must be brought to the 1502 Building at 1502 Iowa Street, Lawrence, KS. 

  • The education document(s) requiring an Apostille (diploma, official transcript (request notary at time of order), statement of degree, statement of forthcoming degree) 
  • A Request for Document Certification Form (.pdf). The cost of an Apostille is $7.50 per document.
  • A Notary Request Form. The cost of notarization is $5.00 per document and will be billed to your Enroll & Pay portal.   

The Office of the University Registrar will notarize the document(s) and send it to the Secretary of State's Office along with the Request for Document Certification form. The Secretary of State's Office will then mail the document(s) with an Apostille to the address listed on the form. 

Questions on obtaining an Apostille can be sent to