The circular monogram represents the official seal of Marist College. In 1923 the Scholasticate, called the Marist Normal Training School, was founded on what is now the heart of our campus. The year 1929, as seen on the seal, marks the date when the fledgling school was authorized by the State of New York to grant Bachelor of Arts degrees, thereby establishing the novitiate as a college. The date 1946 marks the year in which Marist College received its charter. The large 'M' in the center is the traditional symbol of the Marist Brothers. The 12 stars, which appear about the 'M', are a scriptural symbol of the Blessed Virgin, to whom the Marist Brothers are devoted. The Latin inscription within the seal "Orare et Laborare," may be translated "to pray and to work," the original motto of the college.
The emblem pictured to the right is the Marist College Coat of Arms. On either side of the shield stands the official college mascot, the Red Fox or the Reynard, chosen for its keen intelligence and ingenuity. The red and white college colors are derived from the coloration of the fox. The Red Fox is also pictured in the college ring.
In the left quadrant of the shield appears the traditional Marist bell, originally used to regulate the lives of the brothers. The Indian seen in the right-hand quadrant of the shield is taken from the seal of the town of Poughkeepsie (from the Mohegan word 'apo-keep-sinck', a safe, pleasant harbor). The lower half represents the liberal arts. The nucleus of the atom stands for the sciences, while the open book and crossed quills represents the humanities. Atop the shield is the official Marist Brothers emblem. At the bottom is a scroll with the Latin words 'Cum Optimis Litigare', which translated, means 'To strive with the best.'
A 1961 meeting marked both the birth of the Marist College basketball team and the adoption of 'Red Foxes' as the official nickname and mascot. Athletic Director Brother William Murphy decided to organize a varsity basketball team to play scheduled games against other schools and thought a nickname and logo would be appropriate.
While glancing at a sports catalog, Brother Murphy noticed a reynard, more commonly known as a red fox, on the cover of the book. He decided this fury little creature, indigenous to the Hudson Valley, was to become the mascot and logo of all Marist College teams.
The reynard comes from a great medieval cycle of stories that originated in the Low Countries, Northern France, and Western Germany. The rarity of the word prompted Brother Murphy to choose the general term 'Red Foxes.'
Revised: 2010 August 4