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  • Writer's pictureBeth & Tim Manners

Green Mountain Question: Why UVM and not UVT?

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

Burlington Free Press: “The mystery of why the University of Vermont’s name is abbreviated to UVM and not UVT is due to history instead of whimsy. The university was founded way back in 1791, according to UVM’s website. It’s the fifth oldest university in New England after Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and Brown. University of Vermont’s founders chose to call the school Universitas Viridis Montis, the “University of the Green Mountains” in Latin. Vermont, accepted as a state in 1790, takes its name from the French vert (green), mont (mountain).”

“The Latin name can be seen on the university’s seal … The motto on the seal, ‘studiis et rebus honestis,’ was taken from the writings of Quintus Horatius Flaccus, also known as Horace, a lyric poet during the Roman Empire. The translation, according to UVM, means: ‘for virtuous studies and matters.’ The Washington Post in 2016, in an article about school mottos translated the Latin phrase as ‘through studies and upright affairs’.”

“The phrase was selected by UVM’s first president, Daniel Clarke Sanders a graduate of Harvard University in 1788, according to UVM’s Lyman-Roberts Professor of Classics M. D. Usher … Latin and Greek language, literature, history and philosophy formed the core of what students studied two hundred years ago. ‘Classics is thus both the historical core and spiritual heart of UVM,’ Usher said.”

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