Latin Mottos Posted by on Oct 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

Universities and other organizations of higher learning often have a school motto in Latin. Here are some of my favorite Latin mottos :

Dominus illuminatio mea is the motto of Oxford University. It means, “The Lord is my Light”. This motto was phrased in the 1200s, and at the time it was a religious era in Europe. The phrase is a reflection of that era.


Esse quam videri is the motto of the University of Tampa in Tampa, Florida. It means “To be, rather than to seem to be”. This is actually a good motto not just for schools, but for everyday life in general. For instance, you could use it to mean that one should try to be sincere, rather than act like you are being sincere towards someone.

Labor omnia vincit is the motto of Queen’s College in Hong Kong. It means “hard work conquers all”. It’s a phrase quite appropriate to an institution of higher learning because it implies that if you study hard enough, you’ll earn good grades.

Docendo discimus means “by teaching we learn”. This is the motto of Stranmillis University College in Ireland. This motto is actually a quote by Seneca the Younger. I happen to love this quote because it gives the impression that teachers and students are on the same level. By level I mean the pursuit of knowledge.


Veritas vos liberabit means “the truth shall set you free”. It is the motto of Johns Hopkins University in the U.S. This motto has been somewhat of a cliché over the years, but it’s still one of the better college mottos out there, simply because it can apply to learning and life in general.

Keep learning Latin with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it


  1. Alfredo Weltson:

    “Scientia vinces” University of São Paulo

    “SCIENTIA TERMINUM AMOVERE” Faculty of Medicine in Ribeirão Preto

  2. mary:

    quod erat demonstrandum