A decision has been made; the cotton will stay. However, in what form is the issue still sparking a debate among area farmers and thousands of Texas Tech alumni.
Two of the areas major cotton agencies requested a meeting with the chancellor's office after Wednesday, when Chancellor David Smith announced the existing seal would be updated and that cotton would not appear on the revamped version. After the meeting Thursday, the chancellor's office agreed to keep some form of cotton, but hundreds still say they'd rather keep the original seal.
The Texas Tech seal has stood at the center of the university's attention since 1972 when the statue was installed at the Broadway entrance. The idea of the seal has been the center of what the university stands for over 80 years. Now, at the center of the seal itself, lies the dispute.
Plains Cotton Growers Executive Vice President, Steve Verett said, "the best way to end the controversy that's going on right now about the university seal would be to simply to retain the original seal."
After Friday's meeting, for undisclosed reasons, the university agreed to keep a form of cotton on the official seal.
Before the meeting took place between Verett and an individual from The Plains Cotton Cooperative Association, Chancellor Smith made the announcement of the updated seal. It's virtually the same, but without the ten cotton bolls, which originally represented the Tech campus's strong cotton industry.
However, Smith tells NewsChannel 11 cotton may not be reflective of the current entire Tech system. He said the new proposed seal will better represent all seven campuses.
"You've got two universities and one's a health sciences center and they've got their own issues. And now you've got multiple campuses and we've got to decide we're playing in that bigger sandbox now," said Smith.
Proponents say the cotton should stay because cotton gives Lubbock national recognition. Last year, Lubbock was the number one cotton producing area in the nation. An economic impact of over $1 billion.
The lamp, key, book and star visible on the current seal each represent a part of Texas Tech's history. Though the cotton bolls indefinitely remaining on the shield, Verett wants the nation to know that Texas Tech was founded, in part, because of cotton.
The regents have the ultimate say in the matter and they'll review the seal proposal on Thursday, May 12.