Traditions

When you join Syracuse University, you become part of a rich history dating back to 1870. Along with that history comes a number of beloved traditions that are passed down from student to student, year after year—thus linking our past and present.

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Orange

Syracuse went Orange in 1890, becoming the first university to adopt only one official color. In the years prior, the school colors were a light pink and pea green, then light pink and blue. After a winning athletics meet with Hamilton College, Syracuse students wanted colors as bold as they were. They considered orange, with blue as a secondary color, but orange alone was not claimed by any other school, and thus, was Syracuse’s for the taking. It was adopted unanimously by a student committee, faculty, the Alumni Association, and Trustees, and remains Syracuse University’s official color to this day. Today, you’ll see students sporting orange year-round, but especially on game days when the whole Syracuse and Central New York community joins and displays their Orange pride.

Legend of 44

44 is one of the most fabled numbers ever associated with a college football program. Since 1954, nine players have worn the number and three earned All-American honors. Those three—Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, and Floyd Little—rank among the finest running backs ever to play the college game. In recognition of the number’s significance, the University resides within the 13244 zip code, and all University phone numbers start with “44.”

Mascot

Otto wasn’t always Syracuse University’s mascot, but the beloved orange ball has been a favorite for more than 40 years. Exuberant, happy-go-lucky, and kind, Otto always spreads sunshine and Syracuse spirit, from the sidelines at Syracuse University games to community events, during exam time and on frosty ticket lines (it’s not unlike Otto to deliver hot cocoa and cookies to students on bitter days), and even on dance floors at alumni weddings. No wonder Otto was named the “Best Mascot in the ACC” by ESPN in 2016!

Check out Otto’s evolution over the years.

National Orange Day

Syracuse University’s founding day anniversary is referred to as National Orange Day. Every year it is celebrated with lively events, free treats, and campus-wide videos. It’s a day that brings alumni together across the country. See how we celebrate!

Orange Central

Orange Central is Syracuse’s amped-up version of the traditional collegiate homecoming and reunion weekend. Every fall, thousands of alumni return to campus and join students, faculty, and staff for a full range of events and activities. Check out last year’s Orange Central festivities.

Crouse Chimes

First installed in 1889 and renovated in 1981, the Crouse Chimes are rung at least twice a day and again on special occasions. John Crouse purchased the bells on May 25, 1889, from the Meneely Bell Company in Troy. For 54 years, the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity played them, including playing the Alma Mater at 5 p.m. every day.