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Minerva: UAlbany’s Enduring Symbol

Since the University at Albany's beginnings as the New York State Normal College, Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, has been the institution's enduring symbol. The figure of Minerva and the Latin motto, Sapientia et sua et docendi causa ("Wisdom both for its own sake and for the sake of teaching") have appeared on the University seal since 1913.

The statue of Minerva currently on display in the University's Science Library dates back to 1888. It has survived numerous moves as the University expanded from a small teachers college to a university center, most notably a devastating fire in 1906.

Today, Minerva, wearing her distinctive helmet, continues to symbolize the University's proud past and long-standing reputation for educational excellence.

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Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its 17,500 students. An internationally recognized research university with 50 undergraduate majors and 125 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked University, visit For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit