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University Archives

University Colors: the White and the Blue

Could a canvass of teachers and students be made it would be interesting to learn how many of them know how the University colors originated. Under solicitation to prepare something for this paper, the writer feels disposed to avail himself of the privileges of the "oldest inhabitant'' and describe the genesis of the "White and Blue."

In 1886, when the Medical Department had been in existence forty years and had graduated nobody knows how many classes, they were tying their diplomas with white ribbon. When the College of Pharmacy was preparing to graduate its first class the question arose whether to follow the example of the Medical Department, and use white ribbon on its diplomas, or to use some other color by which to distinguish them so that no confusion could arise at Commencement. The choice of the Pharmacy Faculty was for a distinctive color and "blue" was the one selected. As the other departments came into-existence and the increase in student body created a university spirit and a call for university insignia, the diploma ribbons were seized upon as giving a distinctive combination of colors which did not conflict with any other university. The proper arrangement of the university colors, then, "White and Blue," is strictly in accordance with their chronology.

-- anonymous, University Bison, 1913