Sol Iustitia Illustrae Nos
On 26 March 1636, the first Rector Magnificus of Utrecht University, Professor Bernardus Schotanus (1598-1652), was presented with the Great and the Small Seal. The accompanying bag was embroidered with the crest of Utrecht University, which refers to its motto "Sol Iustitia Illustrae Nos": May the Sun of Justice Enlighten Us. The Great Seal was used to fix the logo on important deeds and graduation certificates.
Utrecht University was very nearly established in Amersfoort. In the seventeenth century, both Utrecht and Amersfoort wished to set up a university. The provincial administration was in favour of Amersfoort, because Utrecht would 'constitute a major distraction to studying youngsters'. In 1634, the Utrecht City Fathers decided to found an Illustrious School for higher education of their own accord. Utrecht's Illustrious School comprised three faculties - Theology, Law and Philosophy - and four professors.
In 1636, the States of Utrecht turned the Illustrious School into an Academy. This crucial moment was recorded in the Proclamation of the States. As of 1636, students were able to obtain academic and doctoral degrees, providing them access to all European universities. Apart from that, they enjoyed other benefits as well, one being that they were not obliged to pay taxes on beer and wine.