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ETSU first lady announces the winning tartan design

Rex Barber • Sep 20, 2012 at 9:44 PM

More than 100,000 votes were cast in a campaign to select the official East Tennessee State University tartan.

Donna Noland, wife of ETSU President Brian Noland and first lady of ETSU, headed up the tartan effort.

She announced Thursday the Sherrod design was selected by the community, beating out designs named Gilbreath and Dossett. All the names are of former ETSU presidents.

Plans for ETSU to adopt a tartan were announced at a Johnson City Chamber of Commerce breakfast in early August. A website was established for people to cast their votes.

When voting closed Sept. 10, it was clear that the Sherrod design won with 46 percent of the vote. A total of 113,675 votes were received. Duplicate votes were eliminated and the Sherrod design still got 46 percent of votes. Dossett was 28 percent, Gilbreath had 26 percent.

“We had an overwhelming response,” Noland said. “The new university tartan embraces our past but it will also be symbolic of our future. It will be part of our identity both regionally, nationally and internationally.”

Blankets, a scarf and a tie will be manufactured with the Sherrod design.

A tartan is a design characteristic and similar to a plaid. Tartans are traditionally Scottish.

The Sherrod design, like the other two options, includes the traditional old gold and navy of ETSU contrasted with white and highlighted by a contemporary bright gold and lighter navy, according to a school news release.

Noland hoped for the enthusiastic response to the tartan campaign and said the overwhelming response was exciting.

“I think it encourages engagement over the campus, over the community, so I think it’s an exciting time. We’ve been involved with the past 100 years, now we’re looking forward to the next 25.

“As we look forward we’re trying to find new ways to distinguish ETSU, so this is a way to distinguish us locally, regionally and nationally.”

Noland said that production of some items will now begin, with anticipation that they will be available by the holiday season at the website www.collegiatetartan.com and possibly with local vendors and the campus bookstore.

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