On February 11, 1870, the Colorado Legislature established the State Agricultural College in Fort Collins. Each year the campus community commemorates CSU’s birthday with a ceremony at the State Capitol in Denver, a student celebration on the Plaza, and the presentation of the Founders Day medal to an important University supporter. February 11, 2020 will mark a very special day, as the University will celebrate its 150th birthday.
I’m Proud to be a C-S-U Ram,
I said I’m Proud to be a C-S-U Ram!
Lost Cheer (circa 1893)
Hayseed! Turnip! Pumpkin!
Squash! CAC We Are by Gosh!
The big “A” painted on the foothills below Horsetooth Reservoir is a well-known Fort Collins landmark. Visible from most of campus and by pilots as far as 6 miles up, the letter stands for Aggie, CSU’s mascot when it was still Colorado A&M.
Construction of the “A” began on Dec. 12, 1923, and took six hours to complete. Since that time, the landmark has expanded to its current size of 450 feet high by 210 feet wide.
Our marching band is a point of pride at CSU. Open to students from every major and college, the 240-strong ensemble is one of the nation’s best. In 2013, the band was invited to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland, and drew rave reviews. Catch our band at home games, or public practices throughout the year, or at the Denver/9News Parade of Lights in December.
Rub Bill Morgan’s nose in his namesake library for good luck! In 1949, William Morgan began a 20-year tenure as Colorado A&M’s president, ushering in an era of dramatic growth and change on campus – including a name change to Colorado State University in 1957.
Cans Around the Oval, started by a CSU student in 1986, is now the largest one-day food drive benefiting the Food Bank for Larimer County. School kids from the region join college students, faculty and staff – some 150 groups in all – to raise the equivalent of enough food each year to circle the Oval more than 60 times.
In October 1914, President Charles A. Lory declared a special alumni reunion: a football game between the present team and alumni. Since then, Homecoming has blossomed into a broader event that includes Festival on the Oval, Family Weekend activities, 50 Year Club, 5K race, and reunions. The Homecoming parade features approximately 100 floats and entries from both campus groups and the community.
At dusk, crowds gather on the West Lawn for the bonfire, pep rally, and lighting of the “A.”
CAM the Ram is our beloved mascot who travels widely to support all Rams at sporting and community events. He even has his own troop of student “Ram Handlers” and a traveling trailer to carry him in dignified comfort. CAM’s name stands for Colorado A&M, one of the University’s former names. (We were officially named CSU in 1957.) CAM, a Rambouillet sheep, represents a long, venerable line of mascots to serve the University. Ram fans help make this tradition possible by donating to the CAM Forever Fund.
Commencement ceremonies are often seen as an ending, but it is the beginning of more grand adventures. Brimming with knowledge gained through years of courses, graduates start their next chapter when they step across the stage and accept their hard-earned degrees. From the moment their degree is conferred, students become alumni of Colorado State University. Remain connected with your alma mater through the CSU Alumni Association ― 65% of graduates become part of Alumni Association through the Grad Pack program that provides cap, gown, and all the benefits of an Alumni Association membership.
One day a year we stop to celebrate this place. By official proclamation from the governor of Colorado, April 18 is, and will forever be, I Love CSU Day. We sprinkle campus with green hearts, thank our students for being awesome, and everyone with an affinity for the green and gold proclaims their love across the nation.
Once the geographic center of campus, the beautiful Oval remains the sentimental heart of Colorado State. With a stately allée and Oval Drive lined by majestic American elms nearly a century old, the Oval was designed in 1909 as an aesthetically pleasing way to connect main campus buildings.
The good times ramp up with Ram Welcome, the second part of the orientation experience, which assists new first-year, transfer, and international students with making a successful adjustment to college life and celebrating the beginning of the academic year! All new students attend Ram Welcome, which takes place four days prior to classes beginning each fall.
Perhaps the first tradition at CSU was the ringing of The Old Main Bell each day to mark the start of classes. Later, students started ringing the bell to celebrate each football victory. The bell disappeared around 1919 – well, actually, it was stolen – and the tradition was thought to be lost forever. However, in 2016 the bell was returned to CSU by a group that had overseen its care since its mysterious disappearance nearly a century ago. The Old Main Bell, restored to its original condition, is now part of the Iris and Michael Smith Alumni Center and once again chimes across campus on game days.
This one-day annual event involves more than 2,000 CSU students doing volunteer projects in the Fort Collins community. Projects include work at local agencies, park and trail cleanups, and yard work for neighbors in need. The Neighborhood Services Office and SLiCE work with the community to line up projects within Fort Collins neighborhoods.
The successes of the past year and the challenges and opportunities ahead take the stage every fall semester when the Colorado State University comes together under the Oval’s American elm trees for a community celebration. The President’s Fall Address and University Picnic has been an annual tradition since the devastating flood of July 1997, offering Rams a moment to reflect, share, and celebrate.
Every Friday wear or display your Colorado State University green for all to see! Show everyone the spirit and passion that makes being a Ram so special – it’s contagious throughout campus and Fort Collins. Be green, be proud. #GETYOURGREENON
Fight on You Stalwart Ram Team
On to the Goal!
Tear the (Opponent’s) line asunder
As down the field we thunder.
Knights of the green and gold,
Fight with all your might!
Fight on you stalwart Ram Team,
FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
CSU is proud of its long history of environmental research and sustainability efforts that make celebrating Earth Day even more special. Earth Week is celebrated at CSU with sustainability fairs, bike parades, Green University Walking Tours, speakers, film festivals, and other activities.
For decades, the cannon has echoed for every point scored by Rams at home football games. The cannon currently in use, known as Comatose, is a model 1918 ABS French 75 mounted on a 1941 retrofitted carriage. Comatose was donated to CSU by the 5th Army in 1952 and has been in action ever since.
That’s not the end of touchdown traditions, though. Watch the end zone after CSU scores, and you’ll see ROTC cadets doing push-ups, one for each point scored.