Symbols of the College

The College of Saint Rose was founded in 1920 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet as a Roman Catholic college for women. Its founders selected the name of Saint Rose to honor the first canonized saint in the Americas, Saint Rose of Lima. The primary academic purpose of the College was the full development of the person through a strong liberal arts curriculum. Initially, emphasis was placed on the professional training of teachers, and this emphasis was expanded in the early years to preparation for business and other professions.

As needs in the Albany area increased, the College expanded and revised its programs to meet those needs. An evening division was developed in 1946 to meet the needs of World War II veterans and was reinstituted in 1974 to respond to continuing education needs. In 1949, a graduate school was added to provide master's degree programs. Men were admitted to both the original evening division and the graduate division and, in 1969, the College became fully coeducational.

In 1970, the Board of Trustees was expanded to include laypersons in addition to the Sisters of St. Joseph. With the formal transfer of control to the Board, The College of Saint Rose became an independent college sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Albany Province.

Alma Mater

Saint Rose, you are worthy of glory, of praise,
And to sing of your virtues our voices we raise
To you we owe knowledge of truths most sublme -
Truths which never will change with the passing of time.

Alma Mater, your teaching will e'er be our guide
And we pray that your spirit may walk at our side
When problems may face us and darkness comes too,
Then we'll seek consolation, Alma Mater, from you.

Alma Mater, whenever we see your dear name
On the road to success or the tablets of fame,
We shall think of the days we have spent with you here
'Mid such happy surroundings and classmates so dear.

Alma Mater, your children will e'er faithful be
Oh, do list to us now as we pledge loyalty
And in years that will come when the day's at its close,
We shall think of you then, Alma Mater, Saint Rose.

The words and music of our alma mater were written by Rose McGowan, Class of 1924.

Carondelet Medal

The medal is designed as an award for an individual who, through working in the community, has enabled others to move toward a fuller development of their personhood. Thus, the larger human family is nourished. The recipient has given evidence of commitment to a constant striving for excellence as well as to equal access to education, as seen in the College's early role in the education of women. In addition, the recipient is one committed to the Saint Rose tradition of the liberal arts, understood here as education of the whole person, and to those moral and religious values that are consistent with Judeo-Christian tradition. Finally, in conferring this medal, the College recognizes the individual for exceptional contributions in education, which, in the broadest sense of the word, is the passing on to others that which one has received.

The medal was designed and executed by the late Paul Cavanagh, Trustee Emeritus of the College.


The colors of gold and white were chosen as they are the colors of the Papal flag.

White signifies the light of Faith, as referenced in the College motto. The color also symbolizes purity, joy, and happiness. White is also the heraldic symbol of the Mother of God and honored on campus through the Rosa Mystica statue.

Gold signifies splendor, dignity, and worth. Gold also symbolically expresses a "certain regal quality acquired by contact with the best thought of the ages in religion, philosophy, literature, arts, and science."

Quoted and paraphrased from an April 9, 1921 article in the Knickerbocker Press.


The design for the College mace symbolizes the dynamism of the learning or educational process and its integration with the principal elements of academia at Saint Rose.

The staff or base of ebony can be considered representative of the makeup of the academic community, with seals of the College, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and the State of New York.

A symbol of the cross is on the base to designate the Christian orientation of the College.

Pyrite (derived from the Greek word for "fire") is dynamically suspended within the top member. Its appearance of a disordered, multi-faceted mass of gold ore symbolizes the academic process - one of forming, improving, and extracting order from disorder, or simply firing the imagination.

The ball can be construed as representative of knowledge or truth and, ultimately, God.

The mace was conceived, designed, created, and given to the College by the late Paul Cavanagh, Trustee Emeritus of the College.


The motto of the College is: In tuo lumine videbimus lumen. Translated from the Latin, it reads, "In thy light we shall see light."

This excerpt from the 1924 Rose Leaves (yearbook) exemplifies its impact on students:

"The same Light that inspired the founders of the College with the need of a Higher Institution beckoned to nineteen girls, constituting the Class of 1924, to come and join their fate with that of the Infant College. Like the pioneers who first entered the new land, we came forth, our hearts aglow with the eagerness to make the College one of the finest institutions of the country."

President's Seal

The seal symbolizes the responsibilities of the president to provide leadership to the academic community, to ensure the continuation of the tradition and heritage of the College, and to represent the College to other constituencies.

The seal has been handmade of sterling and ebony. The letters are hand-chased.

The circle connotes responsibility, as there is an encompassment and integration of what is within. The square symbolizes the academic community: faculty, student body, administration, staff, alumni, and trustees.

The shield and rose, in gold, at the center symbolize the heritage of the College. The four gold point extensions suggest the emanation of Christian values. All are within the outer circle, within the aegis of the president.

The seal was designed and executed by the late Paul Cavanagh, Trustee Emeritus of the College.


An excerpt from the letter of Mr. P. C. LaRose:

Now as to my design. The first and oldest canon of heraldry is simplicity. This I have tried to adhere to. We have to start with a silver shield - the silver, or white background expressive of Virgin purity. This silver "field" I have made "semee" of red roses, the heraldic symbol of Saint Rose. But she was also known as "The Rose of Saint Mary." I have therefore added a chief (upper third) in the heraldic colors of the Blessed Virgin which are blue and silver, and on this I have placed the lilies of the Virgin and of Saint Joseph to the usual number of three in honor of the Blessed Trinity. You will note now that the shield is strictly in the American "red, white and blue." You will also note that in our necessity regular pattern of roses, just thirteen of them are showing, - the number of the original states in the Union. Thus the shield beside using the symbols of Saint Rose, the Blessed Virgin and Saint Joseph, is thoroughly United States American.