On February 10, 1923, Texas Governor Pat M. Neff signed Senate Bill No. 103 to establish Texas Technological College. The first day of classes didn’t begin until October 1, 1925, so in the interim William Ward Watkin designed Texas Tech’s first university seal. It contains several symbols: the lamp, which represents “school,” the key for “home,” the book for “church,” and the star for “state.” Cotton bolls represent the area’s strong cotton industry and the eagle is suggestive of the United States. The seal first appeared on Tech diplomas in 1948, but it wasn’t approved officially as “The” Seal of Texas Tech University until 1953.
In the late 1920s, prior to the adoption and widespread use of the Texas Tech Seal as the official academic logo of the university, administrators and students used a few unofficial logos. The two images above were found within the scrapbooks of Lucile Davis, who attended Texas Tech from 1925-1927.
A variation of the State of Texas logo was reconfigured for use by early TTC administrators. The first one was featured on a red school pennant (above), found glued into one of Davis’ scrapbooks. The second one, done in leather and ink (also above), graces the cover of another scrapbook.
The Semicentennial Commemoration Seal was designed by Jerry D. Kelly, Manager of the Publications Bureau of Tech Information Services. The five pentagon blocks each represent a decade, and frame the Lone Star of Texas in the center. Texas Tech’s colors are black and red, so in this version of the seal black represented past decades, while red represented the current one. According to a 1972 issue of Tech’s student newspaper, the University Daily, the sum of the blocks represented the foundation on which the university would build its future.
Since April 1972, the seal rests beside an elongated fountain in the Amon G. Carter Plaza at Tech’s official main entrance at the intersection of Broadway and University. The twelve-foot-tall, 37,500-pound red granite seal, along with the Will Rogers Statue, are now the top two sites for taking individual and group portraits on the main TTU campus. It gets particularly crowded in the month leading up to graduation.