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
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.
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.