Colorado Aggies.Com
RAM Pride begins with AGGIE History
Traditions of the Aggies & Rams
                                                                      
From the school colors to the mascot there have been a number of
traditions throughout the 62 years as the Aggies. Colorado State
University is known as the Rams today but do you know who the
mascots were before that? How did the school get its colors and what
is up with that big "A" on the mountain west of town? Ever jump at
the sound of a cannon following a touchdown? Everything you did or
did not want to know about Aggie Traditions. (CSU Traditions too)
Aggie Mascots

During the 62 years of the "Aggie Era" the college had different mascots that
identified the school, however it was not until the 1959 that Colorado State
University "officially" adopted the Ram as their mascot. In the
earliest days of football there was never any mention of an official or
unofficial mascot until 1912 when a dog showed up on campus.

The Colorado Aggie-Bulldogs?

Sometime around 1912 a student named Floyd Cross purchased an English
Bulldog that eventually roamed around the Colorado Agricultural College
campus. Students would feed the dog peanuts and therefore he was named
"Peanuts" by the students. He was taken to football games, adopted by
Battery A and attended other athletic events. By all accounts he was very
well liked by all of the Aggie students. In April or May of 1918 Peanuts was
found dead, an apparent victim of being poisoned by students from the
University of Colorado. The Aggies were never referred to as the Bulldogs
during Peanuts' status as mascot.

Billy Hughes and a Bear

The 1919 Aggie football team had Billy Hughes listed as the school's official
mascot. The son of coach Harry Hughes was about six years old in the
photo and looking just as serious as his father about football. Little Billy did
not last long as the school mascot and was probably given the status because
he attended the games and the students wanted a replacement after the loss
of Peanuts.

The 1919 team also shows a bear cub as the school mascot in their
championship team photo. Little is known about this bear, where it came
from or even it's name. The bear disappeared as quickly as it arrived
and for the next 26 years the Aggies did not have a mascot associated with
the school; officially or unofficially.

The "Aggie-Rams"

In January of 1946 a group of men on the Aggie campus known as the
"Senators" surprised the student body and faculty by bringing out a ram
during halftime of a basketball game against the University of Denver.
They felt it was "about time the school had a mascot" and spent two days in
secrecy grooming a two year old ram for his introduction.

The ram was an instant hit with the students and unofficially adopted as the
school mascot after students voted in the fall of 1945 for the nickname
Rams. The Fall 1946 Collegian adopted the Ram as mascot of sports right
away and most articles were written with both Aggies and Rams as the
school nickname.

Named "CAM the Ram", the "CAM" stands for Colorado A & M and
remains one of the few ties to the Aggie days. In 1951 the football team
started wearing the ram's horns on their helmets and the 1955 football
schedule made no mention of the Aggie name but rather called them the
Rams.

It was not until the 1960's that CSU officially adopted the name Rams for its
athletic teams. Some older alumni still might refer to the team as the
"Aggie-Rams" but the Ram is the only name officially adopted by the school.
School Colors - Green and Orange or Green and Gold

The color most associated with the Aggies and Colorado State
University has been green, officially described as "Forest
Green". Today the secondary color is gold, officially described
as "Vegas Gold". However, there has been a long debate of
when gold became the secondary color because during the
Aggie era both gold and orange continued to show up.

According to the February 1893 Collegian the school colors of
"Green and Orange" were chosen by the first football team and
their "rooters" before the game against Longmont Academy.
There has never been a reason why green and orange were
chosen as the school colors but in the 1895 Silver Spruce the
class of 1896 had their colors as lavender and cream . Although
it cannot be known for sure, it is possible green and orange had
a significance toward a particular graduating class.

These colors remained in tact even after Ellis banned football in
1894 and resurfaced in numerous publications into the first
decade of the 20th Century. In 1903, one publication stated that
the school colors of green and orange stood for "Alfalfa and
Squash" for the agricultural roots of the school. In 1909, the
football team was getting sick from the green die in their
uniforms and the Collegian reported that the school should
change it's colors to "Orange and blue...a more stable and solid
combination, they appear to match very well." (Green
remained the primary color)

In 1914, an early mention of Gold as the secondary color was
made when the letter winners received "green sweaters with a
gold "A" on them." Some publications had the secondary color
as gold and others described it as gold but it appeared to be
orange. The change to gold appears to coincide with Charles
Lory becoming college president in 1909.

Into the 1950's it was easy to see gold (usually yellow) and
orange as the secondary school color in everything from
pennants to football schedules however, the secondary color
was always described as gold regardless of how it looked.

In 1993 a true "Vegas Gold" was introduced when Sonny
Lubick took over as head coach of football. The yellow
disappeared and a bright gold
is seen in all CSU uniforms today.
The Big "A" on the Mountain

Any visitor to Ft. Collins cannot miss the
large white letter "A" on the hog-back
mountain west of town. A closer look at the
massive letter shows that it is actually made
up of boulders in the shape of the letter and
painted white for easier viewing.

This moniker first showed up in 1923 and
was enlarged and painted white in 1924. The
letter was placed on the mountain as a form
of school pride and to make a tradition of
having the freshmen paint it each year.

Today it is still painted each fall, not just for
tradition but because the FAA requires it to
be seen from the air as a land marker for
planes. When some students wanted to
remove the "A" and replace it with an "R" in
the 1980's it was the FAA that prevented it
from happening.

With Hughes Stadium just below the "A" this
moniker remains as the largest and best
reminder that CSU is, was and always will
be an agricultural school.
The ROTC Cannon
As a Land Grant institution, Colorado State University is required to have an ROTC military presence. Durkee Field
also acted as the military training grounds so it is only natural that a cannon sound off at football games. The 1894 team
posed beside a cannon showing the earliest connection with football and the military program.

A September 11, 1937 Collegian article states that the cannon first appeared at football games in 1920 to open and
close the games. The tradition has continued ever since making the ROTC cannon the oldest continuous tradition at
Colorado State University, beating the painting of the "A" by four years. As seen in the photo below from 1923, the
original cannon was a 75mm Model 1897 French artillery piece (better known as a "French 75") and was first
mounted on a wagon and pulled by a large military truck. The Aggie ROTC men would travel to away games like CU,
Denver and Colorado Mines to show their spirit and cause a little trouble along the way sometime shooting the cannon
as they drove down the road.

By the time of the 1937 Collegian article, the 17 year old
tradition had become one of the most favorite of Aggies
at Colorado State. With the onset of World War Two,
the US Government recalled all "French 75's" to be
retrofitted for modern warfare. It is unclear at this time
when the original cannon was taken by the US
Government but after WW II a loaner cannon (as seen in
the photos from 1947 and 1948) was used until 1952.

In 1952, the 5th Army donated the current cannon used
at CSU games today. Named "Comatose", this gun is a
1918 French 75 built in France during WW I. The gun
was mounted in to the carriage in 1941 during retrofitting
at the Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois. Records are
unavailable to know where "Comatose" went after it's
modernization in 1941.

First time visitors, freshmen and forgetful alumni are
always the first to jump at the sound of the cannon
during the National Anthem ("Bombs Bursting in Air")
and scores. This great and lasting tradition is not unique
to Colorado State University but it does bring out a sense
of pride when Ram Fans hear the "BOOM" of the longest
tradition in school history.
Ringing the Bell in Victory -

One old tradition lost to the ages is for
freshmen students to ring the bell at
Old Main after a victory. The original
bell (seen above) was cracked around
1919 and the clapper stolen a few
years later. The bell itself was stolen
according to Dr. George Glover
around 1925. A replacement bell was
purchased in 1923 but never hoisted
into the Old Main bell tower. When
Old Main burned down in 1970, there
was no bell in the belfry.  (Clarence
Oldemeyer Collection, 1917)
Songs & Cheers of the Colorado Aggies

The Fight song we know today at Colorado State University was written in the
late 1920's or early 1930's by ROTC Marching Band Director Dr. Richard F.
Bourne. Then known as the "Aggie Fight Song", the lyrics changed to Rams after
1966. Few if any know the original school song that became popular at the
beginning of the Harry Hughes Era. "Come On, Aggies" first showed up in college
publications around 1911 and 1912 to try and get excitement with the students. It
was tradition to stand up and sing "Come On, Aggies" as a sign of respect to the
college. This song remained popular into the early 1950s but died out quickly as
the school transitioned to a university.

Many other songs and cheers were popular at football games and pep rallies on
the Aggie campus. Found in the Marguerite Purdue 1920 scrapbook is "A
Handbook of the Colorado Agricultural College" which features some of the most
popular songs and cheers of the height of Harry Hughes' football era.

Join us as we give you the words to those popular songs and cheers, including for
the first time the second verse to "Come on, Aggies".
Come On Aggies
(1950's version)
(Melody, On Wisconsin)

"Come on you Aggies
Come on you Aggies
Plunge right through that line.
Run the ball clear around the end;
A touchdown sure this time.
Come on you Aggies
Come on you Aggies
Fight on for your Fame
Fight! Fellows, Fight! Fight! Fight!
And win this game!"
Come on, Aggies  
(1920 version, 1st & 2nd Verses)

Come on, Aggies; Come on, Aggies;
Plunge right through that line,
Run the ball clear 'round the end,
A touchdown sure this time.
Come on, Aggies; come on, Aggies;
Fight on for her fame,
Fight, fellows, fight
And we will win this game


Come on, Aggies; cheer now Aggies,
Cheer for CAC
We will do our best to show the rest,
Our faith and loyalty.
Come on, Aggies; Cheer now, Aggies;
Cheer for CAC
Live will show the love we know,
For CAC
Football Song
(1920 version)

Found in the 1920 Aggie "Handbook",
this song was not
identified by a melody.

Go now, you Aggies
Break right through that line,
With our colors flying,
we will cheer you all the time.
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Go now, you Aggies,
Fight for victory,
Spread far the fame
of our fair name.
Go now, Aggies,
win that game
Colorado A! Colorado A!
Hit 'em hard, hit 'em low;
Go now, Aggies, GO!
An Aggie Cheer - 1920

(Leader) Who's Hughes?
(Crowd) Oh, He's the coach!
Oh, he's the coach!

Of the Aggie, Aggie, Aggie
Aggregation!
(Locomotive)

A-G-G-I-E-S
A-G-G-I-E-S
A-G-G-I-E-S

Whistle! Boom!

Colorado!!!!
The Green & The Gold
(1920)

Again no melody was given for this football
song that was a regular for Aggie students.

Come, we will sing together
Once more that ringing song,
A strain that the coming classes
Unceasingly shall prolong.
The praise of our Alma Mater,
Dear Aggies, thy sons so keen,
Will cherish thy recollections
An swear by the Gold and Green.

Fadeless still the laurels
won by the football team;
Here's to the knights of the diamond,
Bright may their vict'ries gleam;
No fear, for tomorrow's struggle
will ever new triumphs glean,
While the sturdy sons of CAC
Press on with the Gold and Green

Through the years before us,
Life's skies grow dull and gray,
The friends of our youth are scattered,

we journey our lonely way;
Sweet memories long will linger
of that oft-inspiring scene,
When the field of Colorado
Wes decked with the Gold and Green
Fum's Original Song
If you thought Fum McGraw made up "Fum's Song"
then think again. "College Days" was a long
standing song when McGraw was a sophomore in
1947. It is easy to see that "Fum's Song" is a
parody of "College Days." Once you read this, you
can see why Fum made up a new one.

Sing me a song of college days,
Tell me where to go.
Denver for her pretty girls,
Colorado where they grow.
Boulder for her chappies,
The Mines for jolly boys.
CC for her mushroom growth,
But for true sports, CAC
(Tune: "I've Been Working on the Railroad")

We hear a lot about Boulder,
They call it U of C.
And there's Colorado College,
But it is no place for me.
The School of Mines is found at Golden
And there's Denver U.
But dear old Aggies,
Our hats are off to you.
They're Going Over
(1920)

Another song we don't know the melody for but
racked with meaning. This song must have come
about after the November 13, 1915 game against
Colorado College that gave the Aggies their first
championship. It talks of ringing the bell at Old Main
in victory, singing the "Come on, Aggies" song and
the parade in December of 1915 for the
championship.

They're going over, they're going over,
Our Aggie team is working fine,
And they're going through the line.

They're going over, they're going over
They'll make a touchdown sure this time,
And we'll show the Tigers
What the Aggie boys can do
As we go cheering on.

And our Green-capped frosh
Will ring the college bell again
When our Aggie boys have won
And we'll make the Tigers
Give three cheers for CAC.

Then we'll come marching home.
And our band will play
The good old "Come on Aggies", tune
As we come marching home.
From the 1899 season

Hayseed, Pumpkin, Squash
C.A.C. We are B'Gosh