The Meaning Behind the Color Purple

As part of our annual Senior Reception, we distribute purple graduation cords to symbolize the solidarity as well as the success of the senior class. Our selection of the color purple is significant because of its various meanings, some of which we wanted to share with everyone.

Purple is a mixture of the calm stability of the color blue and of the fierce energy and strength of the color red.

Purple is said to represent transformation.

Purple is the color of royalty because of its association with the colored clothing of ancient monarchs and their relatives.

Purple is the most powerful visible wavelength out of all of the colors in the rainbow.

Purple can symbolize many things, but to sum it up in a few words, purple represents strength, transformation, power, and royalty.

We asked all members of Transitions to share what they felt was the link between the color purple and the program, given the symbolism behind the color and their experiences within or because of Transitions. We shared two of these submissions in honor of the  graduation of Transitions’ Class of 2016.

Tamar Ballard ’16 shared how purple is symbolic of “standing strong despite all adversities.” Additionally, it represents “strength, courage, and resilience.” She continues to share her story in her submission to elaborate on the connection between the color and those who identify as “Transitions” students. The following is an excerpt from her submission:

“[Purple] is often worn in commemoration of soldiers and royalty, two types of individuals that often display these characteristics. First-generation and low-income students are individuals who have displayed these characteristics despite the obstacles that have been put forth in the lives of these students, and that is something that makes us stand out. My mother tells me all the time how much strength is needed to overcome the obstacles that I have had to go through in my life. Coming from a single-parent low-income household was hard for me, but I didn’t allow that to influence how successful I was going to be in my life. I used those disadvantages to make me stronger and give myself the courage to go after things that seemed impossible for people in my position to pursue, and when things got tough, I stayed resilient and kept fighting for the things that I wanted to achieve. I admire people that do the same. I admire every single person who is apart of the Transitions program because we have been able to do what many people outside of our situations may deem impossible, and it is through that courage, strength, and resilience that we continue to break down barriers and show what we’re made of.”

We are honored to distribute the purple graduation cords for the Class of 2016 this evening, because according to Jamily Duarte ’16, “Purple is the color of royalty, and we, Transitions students, are royal, fierce, resilient, and so much more.” Thank you for sharing your gifts with the Vassar community.

From Matriculation to Graduation