RCW: A Look Back 4.35



In our final issue of the 2017-18 school year, let’s take A Look Back at the second KU school color: Yale blue. While the first school color associated with Yale University was green, the Yale crew rowed in blue pants and scarves since the 1850s. It was officially acknowledged as the school color in 1894. The color is difficult to match, as it is a custom blue tone that is dark, neither green nor purple, but rather identifiable as blue. Like Harvard’s crimson, the true Yale blue is preserved in the school archives by way of a scrap of silk from those early crew teams.
After Kansas Athletics chose Harvard crimson as the team color in honor of Colonel McCook, several KU faculty members who were Yale alumni were concerned that their academic lineage would be overlooked, and so Yale blue was adopted as a second school color.  In 1896, the University of Kansas formally selected crimson and blue as the official colors of the school. However, like the crimson, the current KU blue tone is much brighter than its original iteration due to lower levels of magenta, yellow and black in the formula.