The college seal is derived from that of Amherst, by T.C. Elliott in 1896. The Amherst seal depicts an eagle with outstretched wings and a turned head, behind a shield lined with stars at the bottom. The Whitman seal was altered from this template to just the shield and stars on the inside, sans the eagle. The three stars stand for the three states of the union which were allegedly “saved” (converted to Christianity) by Marcus Whitman. The seal is used only for official college business.