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Purchase Pride Comes in Many Colors

April 01, 2015

by Dan Rosensweet

There are certain questions that echo through the centuries. Questions that, no matter
how many times addressed, will always lead people to quarrel. Even those who love one another will don gloves and sock one another when these questions arise! For they insight a certain kind of passion in us: a passion that derives from the very basic human instinct to pick a team and NEVER EVER NOT SAY THAT THAT TEAM IS BETTER NO MATTER HOW MUCH EVIDENCE IS STACKED AGAINST YOU. Yes. Oh yes. So very human… But I digress, the question that we’re facing today is are the official Purchase colors heliotrope and puce, or blue and orange (beware that upon reading that statement you may be inclined to punch the person sitting next to you and yell “HHHHOOOOOOOOO-AAAAAAAAAHHHHH” but please resist your urges).

So, school colors. Why are school colors important, even? Why even bother with them? To sell school merchandise of course! Haha. What a silly query. I pat your head. Now, on to the matter at hand, heliotrope and puce or blue and orange. Well, before analyzing WHAT lets analyze WHY. Wouldn’t you agree? Well, you’re a captive audience so I’m going to do what I please, and that means a historical look at the colors. So there.

Heliotrope and puce is widely considered the original Purchase College color-combo and
has been traced back to the very origins of the school. Heliotrope and puce, as I’m sure you aware, are both shades of purple, the former being darker and the latter being lighter. What you may not be aware of however is that originally in 1967 when the college was established we had only one school color: heliotrope. The darker. However, it was the 60’s, and the students took to rolling around in dandelion orchards, incense burning, and rain dancing, and they did all these activities with the flag because hippies are, of course, very patriotic. As a result, the heliotrope flags would fade to puce, and rather than order more flags, the administration at the time decided to cut costs by adopting a second school color. Pretty neat, huh?

Now, on to blue and orange: many people believe that the adoption of these colors is due
to our rampant support of the New York Knickerbockers, and although many of us do love pants made in the great state of New York, that is not the true origin of the term. You see, about a decade or so back, the main Dining Hall accidentally scheduled two food events on the same night! “Mac ‘n Cheez with Eez” (which was, as you can imagine, the mac ‘n cheese night where it was easier to eat it than normal) and “Purchaso’s Blue Period” (which was an awkward way to shoehorn an art history reference into a food event). The trouble was, the only blue food the eating establishment could come up with was blueberries, and during a heated debate about whether or not blueberries were actually blue, a chef spilled all of the blueberries into a vat of macaroni and cheese. In typical Purchase fashion, the chefs used improvisation and creativity to decide to just serve it anyway, and it actually ended up being a smash hit. The berry-mac was so
successful that blue and orange were adopted as the new school colors, and the delicious
casserole is always available at every dining establishment on-campus if you ask, and it’s also available at every restaurant within 12 miles of SUNY Purchase.

Perhaps the question should not be what the school colors are but rather what should
they be? And really, it’s hard to say. Both color-duos have history behind them that’s close to the heart of Purchase students everywhere, so, is it really fair to say that one set is better than the other? Perhaps we just need to accept the fact that some see Purchase as blue and orange, and others see it as heliotrope and puce, and embrace our differences… OR, maybe we should mix all the colors together, and represent ourselves with a nice, putrid brown.