TCU Licensing announced via Twitter that tartan number five is now the official tartan of the university after a campus-wide vote was held.
🚨Thank you to Provost Nowell Donovan for the vision, TCU student Aimee Hibler for six unique designs, and the #FrogFam for voting on our official TCU Tartan. Number 5️⃣ is the winner! #NationalTartanDay pic.twitter.com/g7vFZvTQu6
— TCU Licensing (@TCU_licensing) April 6, 2018
Wearing tartan has been a Scottish tradition for thousands of years. The patterns identify people with specific families or clans and started during King George IV’s rule, Lori Renfro, a member of the Cowtown Scottish society, said. She also said modern institutions, including universities, are creating their own tartans.
Tartan and plaid are similar, but Renfro said tartans are more uniform in their design.
“Any way you turn it, it’s the exact same pattern,” she said. “A plaid, it will have a repeating pattern, but it’s not as uniform in its weave, in its design.”
The idea for the TCU tartan came, of course, from Provost Nowell Donovan, who is from Scotland.
He said he was inspired by the Isle of Skye tartan, which was created through a design competition. Donovan said he approached Dr. Janace Bubonia, the department chair of interior design and fashion merchandising, who had senior fashion merchandising major Aimee Hibler, designed six tartan options.
Donovan said he wanted a student to design the tartan to help “give students a chance.”
“Let’s look at the talent we’ve got and let’s develop our own talent,” he said. “We don’t always have to spend a fortune hiring someone else when in-house we’ve got a perfectly good set of people who can design and do all sorts of things.”
Renfro said the idea of a TCU tartan is a fun way to show school pride. She and Donovan both said the tartan has lots of possibilities for products.
“You can do so much with it,” Renfro said. “The sky’s the limit.”