Chancellor, Provost to Sport UMass Boston-Designed Ties at Commencement

Colleen Locke | May 27, 2015
Junior Cassidy Bane tries a bowtie on junior Colleen Fitzgibbons.

Junior Cassidy Bane tries a bowtie on junior Colleen Fitzgibbons.
Image by: Christian Arthur

When Annie Ross graduates this morning, she’ll be paying close attention while watching Chancellor J. Keith Motley and Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Winston Langley address her fellow members of the Class of 2015. Ross and half-a-dozen underclassmen helped bring to life the 50th anniversary ties that Motley and Langley will be wearing at commencement.

The Chancellor's Office commissioned Assistant Professor of Costume Design Rafael Jaen to design 50th anniversary ties for commencement. Jaen's practicum and work study students​ researched and steamed fabrics and did the finishing work on both the ties and 50th anniversary scarves.

Tori Moline and Scott Stewardson

Jaen found an embroiderer in Illinois that would produce his design and a vendor in the same state that would produce the ties in bulk. He found a local company with a garment division in San Francisco to produce the scarves.

Cassidy Bane and Rafael Jaen with a 50th anniversary scarf

The students helped select which samples would make it through to the Chancellor’s Office based upon legibility and readability. In the case of one tie that didn’t make the cut, you couldn’t see the design when a suit jacket was buttoned over it. (Go here to see the rejected samples.)

Although for now, only these sample ties and scarves exist, the goal is to eventually make them available for purchase from the UMass Boston Bookstore.​

About UMass Boston
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 11 colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 17,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit

Tags: 50th anniversary , commencement , performing arts , umass boston at 50

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