BOLLED OVER BY ALUMS, TECH BACKS OFF ON NEW SEAL
May 6, 2005
LUBBOCK AVALANCHE-JOURNAL- FRIDAY (MAY 6)
The Texas Tech University System will return cotton's likeness to new designs of the
school seal, an administrator said Thursday.
Associate Vice Chancellor Lynn Denton, the system's head of marketing, said the school
will develop new designs of the school seal that include symbols representing cotton.
"We've decided that we are going to put cotton plants back into the seal," Denton
Alumni became alarmed earlier this week after speculation circulated the Internet
that the school was downplaying the Double T logo and removing cotton from the seal.
Officials assured the Tech community that the Double T logo was in no danger of retirement
but confirmed at a Wednesday news conference that there were plans to remove 10 cotton
bolls crossing the school shield.
Updated and uniform school seals and shields would replace a confusing number of individual
college and program logos.
The new designs were created as part of a broader marketing effort, developed over
the last year and a half by firms in Lubbock, Austin and Chicago, to improve the school's
The change angered many cotton farmers who graduated from Tech, including Plains Cotton
Cooperative Association head Eddie Smith.
Smith was cautious about the announcement Thursday, but said it was encouraging.
"I think that's an excellent first step and then we'll just see how it develops from
there," Smith said. "I think it just shows that Tech officials are, as they should
be, sensitive to the alumni and the surrounding community."
Denton reported the decision after a two-hour presentation given to Steve Verett,
Plains Cotton Growers Inc. executive vice president, and the John Johnson, spokesman
for the Plains Cotton Cooperative Association.
Verett, a Tech alumnus, said he told administrators that the best solution would be
to make minor improvements to the existing seal.
He supported the university's efforts to better market the school, and was pleased
with a productive meeting, he said.
"We appreciate them being able to look at a compromise," Verett said. "It's my preference
that the shield stay as it is today and still be used in their effort to move forward
Johnson also supported the university's re-branding efforts, but believed the best
choice would be to return to the original seal.
"I advised the best way to stop the controversy is not to change the seal at all,"
Johnson said. "I work for 29,000 stockholders in a farmer-owned co-op, and they have
not authorized me to negotiate."
The school seal was designed in 1927 and formally adopted in 1953. Ten cotton bolls
representing the 10 cotton producing counties around Lubbock cross the shield.
Changes to the school shield were not part of the compromise. The new cotton image
would be incorporated into the larger seal, Denton said.
The newest designs should be prepared in time for next week's Board of Regents meeting,