Commencement attire changes for Centennial

Students graduating Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 can expect a change in the usual black commencement attire.

As part of the Centennial Celebration, graduates at these two convocation ceremonies will wear purple caps and gowns.

“Changing the color of graduation robes to a school color is one of many ways we are trying to personalize this occasion to make the Centennial Celebration a unique reflection of our campus spirit and tradition,” said Debbie Combs, president’s office coordinator.

Although purple is different from the usual black worn by Tech graduates, Combs said the response to the news has been positive so far.

“There has been a lot of enthusiasm for trying something new and distinctive for this University,” said Combs. “We have talked with several students graduating before the 100th academic year, when the new regalia is introduced, who are disappointed because the new robes won't be available until the December 2015 ceremonies.”

The change in color for commencement is well received by most students.

“I did not know that was the plan, but I think that’s really cool. I want to wear purple,” said graduating nursing senior Emilee Gettys. “I want our graduating class to be special and to stand out.”

Senior Danielle Miller, graduating May 2015, was disappointed to hear she would not be wearing purple at graduation.

“I’m disappointed because I was looking forward to wearing purple as recognition of the Centennial. I thought the whole reason they were re-doing the Centennial Plaza was so it would be ready by the May 2015 graduation,” said Miller.

Combs said the caps and gowns will be a rich shade of purple with metallic gold for the TTU logo on the chest of the gown.

“It matches our official TTU purple as best as possible,” said Combs.

While the response from students who have heard about the new color has been mostly positive, some students still feel that black is the better choice.

“I don’t mind wearing purple because I had to wear a purple gown at my high school graduation, but I think black looks more professional,” said nursing student Will Wilson, graduating May 2016.

Combs said the plan is to gauge reactions to the new regalia during the December 2015 and May 2016 graduation ceremonies before deciding if the new cap and gown color is here to stay.

“If the response is positive, we will start talking about adopting the purple robes permanently. If it is not, then we will go back to black as the dominant color of the TTU robes,” said Combs.

Although it has not yet been decided if purple will become the new tradition for Tech commencement attire, students graduating during the centennial school year will be in full Tech colors wearing purple and gold.

“Adopting purple and gold for graduation attire in the 2015 and 2016 academic year is one of the ways we stand apart from the rest,” said Combs. “A special occasion calls for special events and projects!”