Being Highlander

Your heart sings to the tune of bagpipes and your brain sparks with innovation. You’ve got Tartan Soul. There are four qualities that show the world you’re a Highlander: Integrity, Accountability, Excellence and Respect.

As a UCR student, you’ve always exhibited these values. You wouldn’t have been accepted to UCR if you hadn’t!

Now is the time to demonstrate your Tartan Soul. Act with integrity, be accountable individually and for your ethical conduct, strive for excellence, and respect the rights and dignity of others. As you mature and take on more responsibility, you will see how these important values – the “core four” of your Tartan Soul – will help you to earn the trust and respect of others, work more efficiently, and succeed in ways you never imagined.

Illustrated graphic of a shield. The word "Excellence" is written above it, and the words "Leading with excellence" is written below.

Leading With Excellence

Illustrated graphic showing two hand shaking. The word "Respect" is written above the image and the words "A campus of respect" is written below it.

A Campus of Respect

Illustrated graphic of interlocking hearts. The word integrity is written above it and the words "living with integrity" is written below.

Living with Integrity

A stylized graphic showing four people forming a circle. The word "Accountability" is written above the graphic and the words "community with accountability" is written below.

Community with Accountability

The Four Colors of the UCR Tartan represent the four core values of Tartan Soul.

How Soul Was Born

In 2005, the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) put forth a Statement of Ethical Values. The UC Regents recognized and adopted the four values: integrity, accountability, excellence and respect. UCR embraced these values with the Tartan Soul campaign which was created by the Student Life Orientation Team.

The campaign debuted in 2009 at UCR’s Bear Facts summer orientation program. During orientation, all incoming, first-year students were introduced to the four values by the Dean of Students and given tartan lapel pins.

The Dean explained each value and provided examples of students embodying Tartan Soul. Each value was linked to one of the four colors of the UCR Tartan. Integrity is represented by blue, accountability by white, excellence by gold and respect by black. Throughout that summer, the campaign experienced huge success.

Now it’s time to make the Tartan Soul campaign bigger and better. We’re asking students, faculty and staff to promote Tartan Soul. Find new ways to show your soul, recognize people who exhibit the four values and wear UCR’s tartan whenever possible.

UCR Highlanders strive to represent integrity, accountability, excellence and respect every day

We've Got Soul!

Brave Scots one and all, the tartan clan of UCR stands together! Click a portrait below to see how some Highlanders exemplify our core Tartan Soul values!

Get Mad About the Plaid! Represent and spread the word about Tartan Soul!

Bare Your Soul

As a student, you can represent Tartan Soul by exhibiting integrity, accountability, excellence and respect. Wear the UCR tartan lapel pin and UC Riverside apparel to remind people you’re a Highlander! UCR and Student Life resources have more ways to promote your Tartan Soul. 

Staff and faculty members can  can participate as well. We need departments to incorporate Tartan Soul branding into programming. Set up a meeting with Student Life to learn creative ways to use Tartan Soul. Also, let us know if you’re already using the branding .

Create Buzz

Spread the word about Tartan Soul by wearing the UC Riverside gear. Shirts are available during select R'Day Giveaways and key Student Life events, so keep a look out! For more information, email student life.

Tartan Soul Partners

Get In Touch

Let's Talk

As the creators of Tartan Soul, we love talking about it. Feel free to email us when you have questions or want to get involved in the campaign.

Want to talk face to face? Stop by Student Life in HUB 229 (between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and ask to speak to an Orientation team member.


Student Life
Highlander Union Building 229
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
(951) 827-1012