The Ottawa University Crest

The crest of Ottawa University conveys the most important ingredients of its history and purpose. The dome of Tauy Jones Hall rises above the crest, just as it rises above the campus. John Tecumseh “Tauy” Jones came to the Marais des Cygnes Valley, in which the Ottawa campus nestles, as an Indian interpreter, a leader among the area Indians who negotiated with the settlers for a “school.” Through the years, the dome frequently changed colors, as special occasions lent themselves to “expression” by various student groups, especially the seniors. Today, the dome displays a vibrant copper finish.

The cross of Christ borders every segment of student life; it represents our Christian heritage, our continuing commitment and the hope for our future.

The star depicts the clarity of the Kansas sky; many of the earlier settlers thought that the North Star could be seen more clearly in Kansas than in any other state. The belief is still true.

The book signifies the book of knowledge; it represents both the Bible and the texts of the various courses. As one assimilates knowledge from these two sources, one experiences the school motto: Veritas Vos Liberabit (the truth will set you free).

The swan illustrates the tranquil environment of the Marais des Cygnes Valley. The French word “cygnes” means swans.

The arrowhead is symbolic of our Indian heritage; the University is named after the Ottawa Indians. We still honor our “agreements” with them by providing education for people in the tribe. Members of our Ottawa campus athletic teams are known as the Braves. Members of our Surprise campus athletic teams are known as Spirit.

Founded in 1865, Ottawa University is a comprehensive, not-for-profit educational institution affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA. Ottawa’s educational mission brings together residential campuses in Ottawa, Kansas, and Surprise, Arizona, and adult campuses in Overland Park, Kansas; Phoenix, Arizona; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.