This May will mark the first graduation ceremony where UK grads will wear blue graduation caps and gowns instead of black.
Commencement Committee chairman John Herbst said the idea was discussed early in 2012 and was then brought before the committee.
The Commencement Committee is appointed by the president of the university and is made up of students, faculty and staff.
According to a UK administrative regulation, “The Committee’s responsibilities shall include participation in the planning and execution of the commencement ceremony and periodic review of the ceremony and related events.”
Herbst said the committee was enthusiastic about changing the color. Everyone wanted to “see more blue,” Herbst said.
The gowns stayed black for December graduation because the book store already had the inventory in stock, Herbst said. May will be the first time that graduates wear the new color.
UK seniors are excited about the idea of wearing the school colors.
Equine science and management senior Nicole Holownia said, “Changing it to blue makes it more unique. It shows the wildcat spirit.”
Business management senior Colleen Fitzpatrick said, “It’s symbolic of UK, so I think the blue is better.”
Andrea Bailey, general merchandise manager at the UK Bookstore, said that the blue gowns are not any more expensive than the black gowns – the price hasn’t changed since the 2011-2012 school year.
The gowns, from Jostens Elements line, are also “made from wood sourced from renewable forests,” Bailey said.
With blue caps and gowns, the graduates will walk across the stage at the ceremony on Sunday, May 5, 2013.