Syracuse Orangemen History

School Color

Orange became the University's official color in 1890 when Syracuse became the first college to adopt only one official color. The original school colors, rose pink and pea green, adopted in 1872 were not popular. Orange was chosen to represent the golden apples of Hesperia; the story of the sunrise and the hope for a golden future. Blue is used as an unofficial accent color.

National Orange Day

On March 24, the official date of the University's 1870 founding, alumni across the nation celebrate by organizing or participating in events that focus on community service.

Otto the Mascot

In 1995, after the traditions committee recommended changing the mascot to a wolf, students petitioned the chancellor to keep the Orange the official mascot. On Dec. 4, 1995, the Orange became the University's official mascot thanks to a proclamation by Chancellor Kenneth Shaw. "Though some might say we sacrificed a more powerful image with this decision, I believe that, with the orange, we retain a unique position in college athletics", Shaw said. In May of 1997, students, alumni, faculty and staff, voted to retain the original drawing of Otto as the official representation.

Nicknamed Bill Orange, the original mascot, an Indian warrior, of the University got its name from Syracuse being the salt city and because Syracuse is the home of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. Still located on the Quad, the statue of the Saltine Warrior, a gift of the class of 1951, was sculpted by Louise Harriet Meyers. The warrior stayed as the mascot until 1978 when American Indian students complained that the mascot was offensive. For a time, a Roman Gladiator served as the mascot and students even proposed the Abominable Orangeman, an orangutan and Egnaro the Troll as new mascots.

Alma Mater

Written by Junius W. Stevens in 1893. First sung under the title Song of Syracuse by the University Glee and Banjo Club on March 15, 1893. Author Junius W. Stevens, class of 1895, recalled, "while I was walking home across the city an idea for the song came to me. I had often noticed how the setting sun lighted up the walls of Crouse College long after dusk had fallen over the city and the valley. As I walked through the empty streets, the words of a song took shape in my mind. By the time I reached home, the song was finished."

Where the vale of Onondaga

Meets the eastern sky

Proudly stands our Alma Mater

On her hilltop high.

Flag we love! Orange! Float for aye-

Old Syracuse, o'er thee,

Loyal be thy sons and daughters

To thy memory.

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Syracuse Orangemen History

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