The Color Purple

No, I’m not talking about Oprah Winfrey’s Broadway musical. I’m literally talking about the color purple. That mix of red and blue commonly associated with Lent, Mardi Gras, wisdom, sympathy and sophistication. Oh, and the University of St. Thomas.

It’s not just a color. For Tommies, purple is emotion-laden, memory-filled, swelling with school pride. Those who have been through the Arches enough times develop a subconscious connection to the color. They fill their closets with purple pieces, instinctively wear purple on Tommie Tuesdays and favor this color over burgundy, black, blue and especially, red.

Seeing a sea of purple last Saturday at the 80th annual Tommie-Johnnie football faceoff reminded me of the power of purple.

Tommie pride and passion were bursting out of the bleachers. I realized that purple truly binds us. The mark of the “Tommie Tribe,” the pledge of allegiance to UST … purple is significant to us. More than a color, it’s a communicator. Shouting, “U-S-T, gimme a U-S-T!”(whirly-kick).

Even though I have ventured “beyond the Arches,” purple remains with me. Purple provides a visual reminder of my alma mater every time I spot that signature St. Thomas hue. I know I’m not alone. Purple may not be your favorite color, but if you are part of the St. Thomas community, surely purple means something to you. Something more than a piece of the proverbial color wheel.

Purple means more to me now than it did five years ago, and purple makes me proud. Especially since that scoreboard on Saturday boasted 63-7 Tommies.

Editor’s note: Martha McCarthy is a new writer for The Scroll. The 2011 alumna majored in entrepreneurship and business communications and is founder of The Social Lights, which provides social media services.