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Mar 9, 2009 · Leave a Reply

Logo Logic: What do those shields mean?

By matthew @matt dacy
Matt Dacy is the director of Mayo's museum, Heritage Hall. He works with exhibits, publications and films about Mayo Clinic history.  

snap34Quiz time ... the Mayo Clinic logo depicts three shields. What do those shields represent?

It's surprising how many answers I've had to this question over the years, and how many people have asked for an explanation.

Some people think the shields refer to our three locations. Mayo Clinic has campuses in Rochester, Minn., Jacksonville, Fla., and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz. Makes sense, but not the answer.

Occasionally, people will wonder if the shields honor our founders, Dr. William Worrall Mayo and his sons, Dr. William James and Dr. Charles Horace Mayo. Good symbolism, but not correct.

People who are familiar with our Rochester campus sometimes suggest that the shields refer to the Clinic and its two hospitals, Saint Marys Hospital and Rochester Methodist Hospital. Nope.

Instead, the shields refer to our three main activities-patient care, research and education. Although they're not labeled, it's understood that the larger, center, shield refers to patient care, which is our main focus. The flanking shields indicate research and education, scholarly endeavors that keep our patient care at the forefront of excellence.

A lot of people who come to Mayo aren't aware that we have some of the world's largest and most renowned programs in medical research and education. I'll get into the roots of those activities in other postings.

Mayo's logo has evolved from an elegant "MC" monogram in the early 1900s to some funky designs in the ‘70s and ‘80s and then to our more classic contemporary style.

1914 logo for Mayo Clinic

1914 logo for Mayo Clinic

1927 logo

1927 logo

1973 first three-sheild logo

1973 first three-sheild logo

Tags: History, History, Logo, Mayo Clinic, Symbols

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