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.

Big Ten Academic Alliance

As part of the world-class Big Ten Academic Alliance, the U of M is able to offer students unique opportunities in conjunction with, or at, participating Big Ten universities. From innovative research fellowships to access to campus libraries, this partnership is a model for effective collaboration among research universities.

Pride & Spirit

Goldy

Goldy Gopher

The state of Minnesota has many nicknames, one of which is the "Gopher State." In the 1920s, the U of M football team began to refer to themselves as the "gophers," and the name stuck! Goldy is one of the most energetic mascots in the country, and consistently ranks among the best college mascots. Many students rub the Goldy statue's teeth for good luck before a big test or athletic event. Read up on Goldy's history here!

Ski-U-Mah

Ski-U-Mah (pronounced SKY-YOU-MAH) is a cheer Gophers have been screaming since 1884, when two Minnesota rugby players, John W. Adams and Win Sargent, created the word as a new rugby team cheer. The word caught on and was eventually incorporated into both official school songs, “Hail Minnesota” and more commonly in the “Minnesota Rouser.”

History & Tradition

Marching Band

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!

Spirit Squad

Did you know organized cheerleading started 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 is one of the top in the nation, with over 19 UDA National Championships. In 2019, the U of M All Girl Cheer team took second place in the nation, with the Coed Cheer team taking home 10th. Now that is something to cheer about!

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!

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.
[Repeat]
M - I - N - N - E - S - O - T - A!
Minnesota!
Minnesota!
Yeaaaaaaah Gophers!

Athletics

TCF Bank Stadium

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.

  • Watch the Gopher football team at the TCF Bank Stadium! Jingle keys before kick-offs or remove one of your shoes to show support for a field goal.
  • Celebrate Gopher hockey at Mariucci Arena by celebrating a weekend “sweep” of a rival school
  • Join the crowd at Williams Arena, “The Barn”, one of the most intimidating and loud venues in all of college basketball! Surround the opposing team (the student section extends lower than the playing surface, literally!) and get excited for Gopher basketball.

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

TCF Bank Stadium

In September 2019, Golden Gopher football celebrated its 10 year anniversary of playing at the state-of-the-art TCF Bank Stadium. TCF Bank Stadium isn't just a football venue; it's a 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, and its scoreboard is the third largest outdoor board in college 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!

Annual Events

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:

  • participate in New Student Convocation, the traditional kickoff to your college experience
  • build a sense of community
  • take ownership of your college experiences
  • lead and work among students from diverse backgrounds
  • establish relationships with your classmates
  • discover the incredible resources and opportunities available to you
  • learn about U of M school spirit and traditions at Pride and Spirit Day

Homecoming

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.

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 a live music festival, a student band competition, ballyhoo (a dance competition), sports, an art festival, philanthropy, contests, free food, carnival rides, and an outdoor campus community block party. The 2019 Spring Jam lineup featured artists like Waka Flocka Flame, Jay Rock, Ella Vos, and Mason Ramsey!

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