The University College, established in 1948 at Mona, Jamaica, was the first Campus of the University of the West Indies. Subsequently, campuses were established at St. Augustine, Trinidad (1960) and Cave Hill, Barbados (1962). Today the University of the West Indies comprises 3 main campuses, the Centre of Hotel and Tourism Management in the Bahamas, the Institute of Business at St. Augustine and Mona as well as 11 non-campus centres situated in other Caribbean countries.
College of Arms Description
According to the College of Arms, London (the British Imperial authority on heraldic devices), the University College of the West Indies was granted the following Arms on July 18, 1949:
Barry wavy of six Argent and Azure an open Book proper bound Gules garnished Or on a Chief of the third a Lion passant guardant Erminois.
Crest: A Pelican proper.
In other words the background of the main part of the shield comprises 6 wavy stripes of white and blue (Azure); the open book is proper, in other words its natural colours, although its binding is red (Gules) with gold/yellow (or) tooling; the top third of the shield (the Chief) is red and the lion is gold/yellow with black ermine tail spots all over it.
Crest: A Pelican proper. The pelican is painted as in nature. It is standing on a Crest Wreath, originally made of twisted silk to cover over the join of where the crest (made of wood or boiled leather) meets the helmet worn at a tournament. The silk is a twist of the principal colours of the shield, in this case: blue and white, starting with white.
The following description of the University Coat of Arms is taken from the University Callender:
Forming the main background of the shield is the sea represented by white and blue (three each) wavy lines on which is the open book; the upper part of the shield, the chief, is red with a Lion to show the connection with the Crown, but the Lion is covered with black spots. This is the Lion borne by HRH Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, appointed by the King (George VI) to be the first Chancellor, so that this appointment is recorded forever in the Arms of the University.
The Crest is the brown Pelican which fishes in its prehistoric fashion along the coasts of the Caribbean Lands: the pelican is a symbol of care for the young because of the medieval, but untrue, belief that it punctures its breast to feed its young on its blood. It is also used as a crest by both Corpus Christi Colleges of Oxford and Cambridge.