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Tarleton State University is proud of our unique history and continually promotes its traditions. Many of these traditions have a special connection with commencement.

Purple Pigs

Graduation members of the TTS/TTP (Purple Poo) will hand the President a purple pig as they cross the stage.

Color Song

Oh! Our hearts with joy are thrilling
when the Tarleton Colors wave,
And our Spirits rise with rapture
when the Tarleton sons are brave;
Fight for Victory, Fight for Honor,
And success will crown the fight;
ALL HAIL the proud defenders of the
Purple and the White!

Fight Song

On Ye Tarleton, On Ye Tarleton
Break right through that line
Ever forward, ever onward
We'll get there or die
On Ye Tarleton, On Ye Tarleton,
Fight for Victory
Fight, Texans, Fight, Fight, Fight!
and win this game.

University Mace

The mace is a ceremonial staff traditionally displayed as a symbol of authority. Historically, the use of a mace dates back to the middle ages and was carried before or placed near a magistrate or other dignitary as an ensign of authority. The University Mace is borne by the President of the Faculty Senate at the head of all academic processions. Tarleton unveiled a new mace on the inauguration day of its 15th President, Dr. F. Dominic Dottavio. The new University Mace is turned out of walnut and has a headpiece with cast bronze Tarleton seals mounted on four sides. Crowning the headpiece is a three-dimensional, bronze-plated flame of knowledge, which sits above three polished bands of bronze that represent Tarleton's past, present and future.

University Mace

University Banners

From medieval times royalty proclaimed the importance of the householder by displaying a banner with heraldic blazoning. Each knight, lord, and king possessed a coat of arms to represent him. The banner led him into battle as a symbol of strength and honor. The design was emblazoned on his shield as a form of protection in times of challenge. The banner was a proud promise, a dedication to honor and tradition, to be handed down from generation to generation as a sign of heritage.

Each of the five colleges of the university is represented by a banner that contains symbols capturing the academic disciplines of the college. In addition, a banner for the College of Graduate Studies represents all students who seek degrees beyond the undergraduate level.

The banner for the College of Graduate Studies symbolizes the inclusive scope and role of graduate education. The University Gates welcome students from many parts of the country and the world. The University Seal symbolizes official university matters and represents academic achievement by Tarleton students. Banner colors are Tarleton purple and doctoral blue. Master's candidates are hooded in purple and white, and variations of blue adorn robes and head coverings of traditional academic dress for doctoral faculty.

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is concerned with the essentials of life. The sun symbolizes the life-giving forces of nature. The hills and plains symbolize the earth, its bounty and potential. The blue sky symbolizes the inclusive nature of the Agriculture and Environmental Sciences subject matter.

The College of Business Administration displays their banner as a proud member of the Tarleton family. Tarleton's purple and white provides the background for the College of Business Administration panel colored in the traditional business drab. The outline shape of the panel represents the shape of the Barry B. Thompson Student Center in the Tarleton logo, while the interior design depicts financial institutions. Binary code was embedded in the building roofline to signify the integration of computing into all aspects of business management. This binary code is numerically equivalent to 1989, the year Tarleton's College of Business Administration was formed. The figures reach across the world to symbolize the global nature of business. They stand upon the economic charts that provide an accounting of financial markets. Thus the College of Business Administration joins with its sister colleges in moving boldly toward the future while maintaining the Tarleton dedication to honor, tradition, and excellence.

The College of Education is represented by a book symbolizing knowledge, learning, and the importance of reading. The Greek letter psi represents psychological factors influencing behavior, while the two faces represent communication and relationships. The Vitruvian Man symbol represents movement and the idea of keeping a healthy body and mind.

The charge on the banner of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts is a column in the Doric Order surmounted with traditional symbols reflecting ancient origins of the curriculum areas of the college. The Doric Order dates from the time of Pericles, the "Golden Age of Athens," birth of formal academic education. The torch has long been a symbol of the transmission of knowledge and enlightenment. The terms "apollonian" and "dionysian" have been used to describe opposite characteristics of human activity, the disciplined intellectual and the freely expressive. The apollonian is here symbolized by a sun disc. The dionysian is represented by ivy and an abstraction of a goat, a symbol associated with Dionysus.

The banner of the College of Science and Technology shows the logo for the new science building representing science and technology. The atom represents physics, chemistry, and electronics: the microscope represents biology,  geoscience, and clinical laboratory science: the flask represents chemistry, biology, clinical laboratory science, and environmental science: the stethoscope represents nursing: the computer represents engineering, engineering technology, computer science, mathematics and all of the sciences.

From many parts a great university joins together to educate and mold a great future. Thus the banners, designed by Dr. Marika Kyriakos, Assistant Professor of Music; Dr. Carol Stavish, Assistant Professor of Theatre; Ms. Teresa Westmoreland, Costume Shop Supervisor; and Ms. Pat Westmoreland, volunteer; proclaim our dedication to the tradition of excellence.

International Flags

Tarleton is committed to being a globally-oriented university that welcomes students from a wide range of ethnicities, religions, cultures and life experiences. In celebration of Tarleton's community of international students, we proudly present the flags of their home countries at each commencement ceremony. Currently, we have students from approximately 30 countries around the world.


Tassel's have long been part of graduation regalia. Tassels are worn on the caps of undergraduates on the right side until they receive the bachelor's degree. A time-honored tradition at commencement ceremonies involves the symbolic movement of the tassel from the right to the left. Students will be given this opportunity during the commencement ceremony.

Turning Rings

Turning Rings is an important tradition at our commencement ceremonies. At the university's official ring ceremony, we ask that you wear your ring with the "T" facing in until you graduate. For those graduates who wear a Tarleton Class Ring, they will be given the opportunity to turn their ring so the "T" faces out during the commencement ceremony so the world will then know the student is a Tarleton grad.