Walking around the campus, you might occasionally be fascinated as the different colors used to represent each department at Ewha catching your sight. Different color school badges are displayed at the shop in the Student Union Building. Students wearing different colored department t-shirts pass by. On graduation day, the hoods graduate students wear over their gowns are decorated with different colors.
According to the Ewha 100 years History Source Book, as the number of students grew to a thousand in September 1948, it became enormously difficult to distinguish each college and, thus, the college badges were created with distinctive colors for Ewha’s then six colleges. In 1963, as the colleges grew increased to eight, there colors were adjusted and, in February 1965, the colors were readjusted based on the worldwide academic color code.
According to the the Academic Costume Code provided by American Council on Education (ACE), the assignment of colors to signify certain faculties was standardized in the U.S. in the late 19th century and it was influenced by a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages.
For example, the color white was taken from the white fur trimming of the Oxford and Cambridge bachelor’s degree hoods, which was first prescribed in the days of Henry VIII of England, and was assigned to arts and letters. Similarly, red, one of the traditional colors of the church, went to theology. Green, the color of medicinal herbs, was adopted for medicine, and olive, because it was so close to green, was given to pharmacy. Golden yellow, standing for the wealth which scientific research has produced, was assigned to the sciences.
Through this process, a set of codified colors associated with the different academic disciplines appeared and has existed until now. Arts, Letters, Humanities: white; Commerce, Accountancy, Business: drab; Dentistry: lilac; Economics: copper; Education: light blue; Engineering: orange; Fine Arts, Architecture: brown; Journalism: crimson; Law: purple; Medicine: green; Music: pink; Pharmacy: olive green; Philosophy: dark blue; Public Administration including Foreign Service: peacock Blue; Science: golden yellow; Social Work: citron; Theology, Divinity: scarlet.
Interestingly, the colors used in Ewha do show a few differences from this standard. Ewha’s College of Social Sciences uses the color blue, the College of Engineering red, the College of Fine Arts and the College of Pharmacy both orange, the Division of Nursing Sciences apricot, and the College of Physical Education green.