The Bullis Seal
1930 to 1940
The earliest use of a Bullis emblem was the prow of a battleship with the motto “Scientia Punctum Saliens,” which can be translated as “knowledge is the (essential) point.” On school stationery and in the brochures of the 1930s and 1940s, the ships prow appeared with “The Bullis School” and “Silver Spring, Maryland.” The prow of a ship, an emblem also used by the U.S. Navy, signified the School’s early ties with the Naval Academy and honored the many Bullis alumni who entered the Academy. At this time, Bullis School also adopted as its colors the blue and gold of the U.S. Navy.
A school brochure first featured an original drawing with elements selected by Commander Bullis: the lighted candle represents the light of knowledge, the book evokes learning and wisdom and the anchor denotes the School’s roots as a preparatory school for the Naval Academy. The candle, book and anchor grouping and the ship’s prow with the motto “Scientia Punctum Saliens,” were both used as emblems representing Bullis.
The ship’s prow in frontal view was featured within a traditional seal format as a the medallion or seal, and the School’s name and Silver Spring location appears with a new Latin motto taken from the Dialogues of Plato. “Scientia Punctum Praestantium” was translated in Bullis yearbooks of the 1950s as “Knowledge is the Goal of the Outstanding.”
The battleship image was changed to an oblique angle within a new seal format the featured a double circle with a rope border, a motif that also occurred in the official Navy seal at the time. The School’s location was no longer identified because the School was distributed between the Silver Spring and Potomac campuses.
Here the sailing ship was replaced by a simple line drawing of a candle, book and anchor, reflecting the earlier motif used by Bullis in the 1930s and 1940s.
The older, detailed illustration of the candle, book and anchor made a reappearance, recalling the image originally used in the 1930s as a School emblem.
The candle, book and anchor were more prominently featured and newly illustrated in a fresh contemporary style within the seal format. The Latin motto was replaced at this time with the words “Currans, Commovens, Communitas” to reflect the concept of a caring, challenging community.
The seal was revised once again to convert the Latin words into English—“Caring, Challenging, Community”—and to reposition “Bullis School” at the top and remove “The” from the School’s name to reflect a 2006 decision of the Board of Trustees. This design is now the official seal of Bullis School.