University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
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Big Ten Traditions

As a Big Ten school, the University of Minnesota offers great academics, exciting athletics, rich traditions, and a vibrant campus community. Read on to learn more about life as a Golden Gopher student!

What makes student life on a Big Ten campus so exciting?

As a student at the U of M, you'll join a campus community full of students, faculty and staff who are bursting with pride and school spirit. From weekly events like Maroon and Gold Fridays to annual campus-wide events such as Homecoming, you will discover just how passionate we are about being Golden Gophers!

From chanting the Minnesota Rouser (our school song) to the marching band (300+ members strong) to cheerleading (we invented it ... no kidding!), the University of Minnesota offers you an electric campus atmosphere and exciting events.

Goldy Gopher

Minnesota gained its nickname as the Gopher State in 1857, and the University of Minnesota football team began to refer to themselves as the Gophers in the 1920s. Goldy is one of the most energetic mascots in the country, and consistently ranks among the best college mascots! Read up on Goldy's history!

Maroon and Gold

The colors of the University of Minnesota were chosen in 1880 for "proper" graduation ribbons. You can get in the Gopher spirit by participating in Maroon and Gold Fridays! And Goldy recognizes student spirit by handing out prizes to students wearing maroon and gold.

TCF Bank Stadium

In September 2009, Golden Gopher football returned back to campus with the inaugural season in the state-of-the-art TCF Bank Stadium. TCF Bank Stadium isn't just a football venue. It's the newest component of U of M heritage, and it's a place that our whole community loves and enjoys. The stadium is open-air horseshoe design constructed with 97 percent recycled steel. With the third largest outdoor scoreboard in college football and the largest locker room in both collegiate and professional football, the stadium is home to Golden Gopher Football and the University of Minnesota Marching Band. On game days, you'll see more than 50,000 fans headed to the stadium, donning maroon and gold and excited to cheer their Gophers on to victory!


Homecoming is the annual fall tradition where the campus community, alumni and friends gather to celebrate school spirit. A tradition at the University of Minnesota since 1914, Homecoming features events such as student sports and philanthropy competitions, lip sync performances, a bonfire, pep fest and parade, the traditional Gopher homecoming football game, and more.


Cheerleading had its start at the University of Minnesota. In 1898, U of M student Johnny Campbell offered to lead cheers at football games. After Campbell and his "yell leaders" pepped up the crowd during a 17-6 Gopher victory over Northwestern, the tradition of cheerleading was born. That great tradition continues today, with the cheerleading and dance teams performing at all home football games and many hockey and basketball games. In fact, the U of M dance team won four straight national championships in 2003-2006!


Ski-U-Mah (pronounced SKY-YOU-MAH) is a cheer Gophers have been screaming since 1884 during a rugby game. Ski comes from a Dakota battle cry meaning "victory", and U-Mah represents the U of M.

Trophy Games

Trophy games--annual games between school rivals--are a rich Big Ten tradition. The Golden Gopher football team battles in four trophy games each year. Since 1903, the winner of the Minnesota-Michigan game brings home the "The Little Brown Jug," the most famous of all college rivalry trophies.

Welcome Week

Welcome Week is an action-packed experience that you will share with your classmates the week before classes begin. This program includes events planned to connect and welcome you to the campus, your college, and the Twin Cities community. During the program you will have an opportunity to:

Spring Jam

Spring Jam is a week-long celebration in April that celebrates warm weather and the end of another great school year. This U of M student-run event features concerts, a student band competition, ballyhoo (a dance competition), sports, an art festival, philanthropy, contests, free food, and an outdoor campus community block party.


The University of Minnesota has a long-standing tradition of excellence both inside and outside the classroom!

Just as important as the play on the field is the student support for athletics at the University.

Student support at the U of M is a long-standing and proud tradition. We welcome all students and fans to join in!

University of Minnesota Marching Band

Officially started in 1892, the Minnesota Marching Band is one of the most vibrant and visible organizations on campus. With more than 300 members, the "Pride of Minnesota" performs at all home football games and at an annual indoor concert at Northrop Auditorium. Pep bands perform at basketball, hockey, and volleyball events throughout the year as well. Check out the marching band!

Minnesota Rouser (University of Minnesota Fight Song)

The Minnesota Rouser was the result of a Minneapolis Tribune newspaper contest in 1909 to come up with a fight song for the University. Sung at all sporting events, the Rouser is one of the best traditions in all of college sports!

Listen to the Rouser: [MP3 794K]

Minnesota, Hats off to thee!
To thy colors, true we shall ever be,
Firm and strong, united are we.
Rah! Rah! Rah! for Ski-U-Mah,
Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah for the U of M.
M - I - N - N - E - S - O - T - A!
Yeaaaaaaah Gophers!

Please note: The University of Minnesota Twin Cities will be closed from Wednesday, December 24, 2014, through Friday, December 26, 2014. The University will reopen on Monday, December 29, 2014.

Need help finding something?

Office of Admissions, a Division of the Office of Undergraduate Education • 240 Williamson Hall • 231 Pillsbury Drive S.E. • Minneapolis, MN 55455-0213 • P: 1-800-752-1000 • F: 612-626-1693