Spring Commencement 2012

HomeUniversity Mascot, Colors and Motto


The first reference to the lion as the University’s mascot and orange as the University’s color was in 1929 in St. Augustine. At that time, the baseball and football teams were referred to as “The Lions on the St. Augustine

Further, the Alumni Journal and the University newsletter, “The Lion’s Roar,” were printed on orange paper. Thus, the Lion became the University’s mascot and orange, the University’s color.

The first time the orange-and-blue combination formally appeared was on the cover of the 1963-65 University catalog published, when the institution changed its name from Florida Normal Industrial Institution to Florida Memorial College. The Motto, “Leadership, Character and Service,” first appeared in earlier documents when the institution was in Jacksonville, Florida.

The late Dr. Robert B. Ingram, assistant to the president for Urban Affairs, suggested that the University have a flag in 2000. Then-University President Albert E. Smith, suggested an institution-wide flag contest so students would have the opportunity to design the flag. Sixteen contestants entered the contest and in the end, two flags were chosen: the Florida Memorial University Ceremonial Flag, designed by Mr. Elvis Thomas, and the Florida Memorial University Spirit Flag, designed by Mr. David Brown. Contestants were asked to embody the lion, the university motto and the colors in their designs. Coinciding with the flag contest, the University President designed two lapel pins, one for Founder’s Day and one to honor graduating seniors.