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Mission, Motto and Coat of Arms

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Mission | Motto | Coat of arms | Permission to reproduce


The mission of McGill University is the advancement of learning and the creation and dissemination of knowledge, by offering the best possible education, by carrying out research and scholarly activities judged to be excellent by the highest international standards, and by providing service to society.


Grandescunt Aucta Labore (By work, all things increase and grow.)

Coat of arms

McGill University Logo: Coat of Arms

The McGill coat of arms is derived from an armorial device assumed by James McGill, founder of the University.  The patent of arms was granted by England's Garter-King-at-Arms in 1922 and registered in 1956 with Lord Lyon King of Arms in Edinburgh and in 1992 with the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada.

In heraldic terms, the coat of arms is described as follows: "Argent three Martlets Gules, on a chief dancette of the second, an open book proper garnished or bearing the legend In Domino Confido in letters Sable between two crowns of the first. Motto: Grandescunt Aucta Labore." The coat of arms consists of two parts, the shield and the scroll.

Permission to reproduce

The coat of arms and other McGill symbols are a source of pride and identification for the University and are protected by trademark.

McGill's Secretariat is the headquarters for ceremonial matters, and is responsible for considering requests to reproduce the McGill coat of arms and "signature," the University seal, etc.