Witten by Lin Yun-Mao, Image credit to Art Center.
As part of its preparations for moving into the next century, National Cheng Kung University has developed a new international branding image to convey its vision and missions. The university also unveiled a new set of graduation gowns at its graduation ceremony on 21 May in an effort to rebrand its brand, increase international awareness, and inspire new graduates to sail into the future.
Using international graduation gown styles as a reference, the remake project team decided to use the school's representative color of bright red as the main color, along with the college colors to signal different fields of study, and convey the school's ethos of "diligent and humble, restrained and successful" with the neat cuts. Academic degree levels are indicated by different proportions of red. In terms of colleges' colors, the College of Liberal Arts uses white, whereas the College of Science uses golden, and the College of Engineering uses orange. Silver gray represents the College of Management, while green and purple represent the College of Medicine and the College of Social Sciences, respectively. In addition to royal blue for the Electrification and Computer Science College, champagne is used by the Planning and Design College, red symbolizes the College of Bioscience and Biotechnology, and dark red is for Miin Wu School of Computing.
In addition, the circular-arc shawls express the harmony of Eastern philosophy and add a sense of uniqueness; the colors of the shawl edging, badges and hoods correspond to each college's colors. With respect to these gowns, the vertical lines add a slimming effect to the body, while the arrangement of grab pleats highlights a graceful and prudent vibe. The detachable chest badges make great souvenirs for graduates, while also giving colleges the chance to customize their own badges.
The previous academic gowns were designed in 1996 during the tenure of former President Wu Jing （吳京）have not been changed or redesigned for more than 25 years. As a result, President Huey-Jen Su instructed the NCKU Art Center to execute the remake project. To preserve design energy on campus, the Art Center formed a co-design and co-creation team with Yen-Ting CHO（卓彥廷）, an Associate Professor at the Institute of Creative Industries Design, and Mao Tsen Chang（張懋涔）, a Royal College of Art graduate. The team handled all aspects of the project, from design to production and photography. After a lot of feedback and communication with the directors of each college, they finally presented classical, elegant, and intellectual graduation gowns that meet international standards.
According to NCKU Art Center, making enough graduation gowns for all new graduates will take two years due to the huge demand and complicated production process. Therefore, the latest graduation gowns could only be worn by the graduate representatives receiving their diplomas at commencement and the faculty members onstage within these two years. It is expected that by 2024, all students will be able to rent those gowns in groups.