The University received its official tartan in an accreditation ceremony in May 2001. The tartan was designed by Jim Odell, a University graduate in education and fine arts. The colours in the tartan are a reflection of the Arms of the University: scarlet, gold and black. Odell designed the pattern using the “boldness and simplicity of the older and more traditional tartans” in order to create a strong visual statement for the University.
Duncan Paisley of Westerlea, President of the Scottish Tartans Society and Director of the Register of All Publicly Known Tartans, presided over the accreditation ceremony, the first of its kind in Canada. The tartan is used in the ceremonial dress of the University Pipe Band and is an integral part of the colour guard during Convocation marches.
A length of the tartan was also presented to the University Archives to form part of the permanent collection.