1895 Lamp of Knowledge Seal
The 1895 design bore the date 1837, the year of the founding of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and included a "lamp of knowledge" and a sun in its device. In 1937 Robbins commented on the design,
As far as I know, there is no official explanation of the symbolism of the present seal. The significance of the lamp of knowledge, however is obvious, and the rising sun back of the shield was taken from the coat of arms of the State of Michigan.
Frank E. Robbins to Theodore R. Johnson, September 16, 1937, Vertical File, Fimu D1, Seals, BHL
1895 Seal with 1837 founding date