In 2019, the Board of Trustees reviewed the university's mission, seeking a reimagined, focused statement that articulates the George Washington University's primary role. Ultimately, the Board found the best inspiration hiding in plain sight:
Right in GW's founding document—its Congressional Charter.
Approved by the Board of Trustees on February 8, 2019.
The University Seal
The seal of the George Washington University identifies and endorses diplomas and other official documents.
The current university seal was instituted in 1905 with a design and inscription adopted from the original seal of Columbian College.
Two inches in diameter, it bears an image of George Washington based on a well-known portrait by Gilbert Stuart. An open Bible shows a verse in Greek from the Gospel of St. John, chapter I, verses 1-4. The inscription on the left-hand page reads, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The right-hand page reads, "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." The words inscribed on the background are in Latin, “Deus Nobis Fiducia,” or, "God is our trust." The seal is encircled with a double ring, in azure, carrying the words, “THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY - 1821.”