Consider Cornell's motto, "rated No. 1 by Motto" (there's a Motto magazine for some reason):
It's a statement made by the university's founder, Ezra Cornell: "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study." Still, that mouthful leaves Scott White, who runs the Web site Brand Identity Guru, nonplussed. "Wow. Okay. I don't know what to say to that," he says. "I think that's just awful."
The University of California has "Fiat Lux" — in other words, "Let There Be Light." A tad grandiose. On the "light" theme, but not mentioned in the article is the University of Wisconsin's motto: "Numen Lumen." What does it mean? It rhymes. It's fun to say. It sounds like a guy's name. (Newman Louman.) But what does it mean? I've never known — through all these 20+ years of reading it. And apparently, no one else does either!