New tartan created to mark Adam Smith 300th anniversary

03 April 2023
University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School students Max Glen, final year student in UG Business & Management, and Wanyaporn (Wendy) Kwangsue MBA student wearing the Adam Smith Business School tercentenary tartan © University of Glasgow
To honour the 300th anniversary of the birth of economist and Scot Adam Smith, a new tartan has been designed by the University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School.

The tartan’s main thread is University blue to represent the Firth of Forth, where Smith would have watched ships coming and going to the rest of the world. Subtle hints of green mark Smith’s time in Glasgow, and yellow represents the Kirkcaldy High badge, where Smith attended School. A check of burgundy from the University’s brand colours ties it together.

Adam Smith and the University of Glasgow

Smith is one of the University of Glasgow’s most famous alumni and known as the Father of Economics. At the age of 14 he studied at the University, later returning as a Professor of Logic, then becoming Professor of Moral Philosophy.

Adam Smith remembered his time at the University of Glasgow as: “By far the most useful and therefore as by far the happiest and most honourable period of my life.”

While at Glasgow, Smith published the first edition of The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759, developing upon the principles and concepts explored in his lectures.


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Smith’s final connection with the University came in 1787 when he assumed the position of Rector.

300th anniversary

Head of Adam Smith Business School Professor John Finch said: “We are incredibly proud of our connection with Adam Smith. His studies and writings introduced ideas, insights and concepts that were revolutionary in their day and shaped our understanding of economics in today’s world.

"We’ve designed a Business School tartan to commemorate his life, work and the impact he is continuing to have in the world 300 years on from his birth. It’s a fitting tribute to our most famous alumnus.”

The tartan is recognised in the Scottish Register of Tartans. It has been woven into a brushed lambswool scarf at Lochcarron in Selkirk in the Scottish Borders, and is available from the University of Glasgow gift shop and online on Thursday, 6 April.

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