One of our continuing themes here is making fun of Higher Education. So a recent article in Chronicles of Higher Education is a must-blog. It recounts the travails of colleges trying to come up with catchy mottos. For example, there's the University of Idaho:
Last year it dropped its motto "From Here You Can Go Anywhere" for a new marketing theme dubbed "No Fences," with the accompanying tag line "Open Space. Open Minds." The words were intended to evoke both the romantic landscape of Idaho and the boundless intellectual opportunities at the university. It was perfect.Also notable is Stanford's motto, which sounds like a prank inspired by Bart Simpson: "The wind of freedom blows."
And the vacuum of freedom sucks, I suppose.
At the University of New Hampshire, we've had the same one for (as far as I know) ever: "Science, Arts, Industry". OK, it's not flashy, but neither is it embarrassingly lame marketese.
I've always liked the motto of my alma mater, unabashedly taken from John 8:32, King James Version: "The Truth Shall Make You Free". Not bad for a hotbed of scientistic atheism! Unfortunately, I was there a little bit too early to know Sandra Tsing Loh, but a couple years ago, she gave (quite possibly) the greatest commencement speech ever where she reflects on the motto and more.