Highland Community College Makes the Scottish Registry of Tartans Through the Work of a Scottie Student and Staff

published March 19, 2019Highland Community College Makes the Scottish Registry of Tartans Through the Work of a Scottie Student and Staff

Ray Clark, Highland sophomore and theater major usually doesn’t need help standing out in a crowd. The Leavenworth, Kansas native descends from Scottish Clans; Gordon and MacGregor and can usually be spotted wearing the kilt to prove it. 


“Everyone notices the kilt. I’m glad I get to use it as a way to break the ice and get to know people. When I was in high school, I decided to wear one of my dad’s family kilts to a dance and before I knew it, I had three of my own and was wearing them for formal and informal events.”


For Clark, the tartan and kilt are a representation of his family heritage and a way to learn more about history. “Highland has roots in Scotland which was a connection. When I got to campus, I found out they didn’t have a registered Tartan with the Scottish Government I wanted to take steps to change that. A school known as the Scotties needs an official Tartan!”


Highland Community College, the first college in Kansas, was founded in 1858 as Highland University by a Scottish native Reverend Robert Irwin. The school’s mascot is a West Highland terrier known as a Scottie.


A Tartan is a wool cloth with a plaid pattern that is typically associated with a specific clan of Scotland. Kilts, sashes and other clothing are made from a Clan’s Tartan as a way to identify families. Clark worked with now-retired Highland Community College Vice President for Institutional Advancement Craig Moser to design a custom Tartan for HCC and get it registered with the Scottish Registry. The Highland Tartan is a combination of the school colors of navy, gold and white. 


“This is a very special way for me to leave my mark at Highland.”


Clark, an active member of Highland’s campus, says he chose Highland because it’s easy to shine. “HCC was actually recommended to me by my high school theatre teacher. I like to imagine Highland as a canvas of which you are able to “paint” whatever you want with all the opportunities available to students.”


In addition to being in every theater production produced at HCC during his time here, Clark also serves as the Executive Vice President of HCC Student Government Association, is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and is a Scottie Ambassador for the Office of Admissions. After commencement in May of 2019, Clark plans to continue to hone the craft of acting and work on a bachelor’s degree at Missouri Western University in St. Joseph, Missouri.

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