Ram Pride: All about CSU traditions

Giving CAM the Ram a kiss

Ram Pride. It’s a way of life at Colorado State.

You’ll see it on a walk through campus. You’ll hear it sitting in the stands at a game. You’ll smell it at the annual Homecoming bonfire. Our community has some major love for their State, and it shines through in everything we do.

At Colorado State, old and new traditions combine, creating a range of opportunities to display your Ram Pride. Check out some of our most popular traditions below.

#1: CAM the Ram

Since 1954, CAM the Ram has served as the official mascot of Colorado State University. Although his name conveniently rhymes with Ram, CAM is actually an acronym of our former name: Colorado Agriculture and Mechanical College, or Colorado A&M. A dedicated team of students called the Ram Handlers care for and transport four-legged CAM to his many appearances. You may also spot CAM in his two-legged costume at many of our on- and off-campus events.

#2: The “A”

When in Fort Collins, it’s hard not to spot the “A” that sits on the foothills to the west of town. Many visitors scratch their heads when viewing it for the first time — what exactly does it mean?

Before changing our name to Colorado State University in 1957, the university was named Colorado A&M and students were known as “Aggies.” The “A” on the hillside is a nod to our rich history and the land-grant principles we were founded upon. The tradition of the “A” is kept alive by student volunteers who paint it annually.

#3: The Fight Song

When you hear it, sing it loud and proud. The CSU Fight Song, often played by our Marching Band, is played at all major sporting events.

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 on with all your might!
Fight on you stalwart Ram Team,
Fight! Fight! Fight!

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#4: Homecoming

A 100+ year tradition, CSU Homecoming is a big deal in Fort Collins. The weekend is celebrated by numerous events, including a festival on the Oval, parade, bonfire, fireworks display, 5K race, and home football game.

CSU encourages students to invite loved ones to campus to share in the celebration. Events are inclusive of the entire CSU community.

#5: Cans Around the Oval

A 30+ year tradition, Cans Around the Oval is now the largest single-day food drive in Larimer County. CSU and the surrounding community dedicate an entire month to come together and raise awareness of hunger issues and to encourage food donations. Volunteers round up and drop off canned food donations to the Larimer County Food Bank on a specified collection day each year.

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#6: Rocky Mountain Showdown

This time-honored football game between the Colorado State Rams and in-state rival University of Colorado Buffaloes began in 1893. For many years, the game alternated locations between Fort Collins and Boulder and then was played in Denver at Mile High Stadium. Games will be on and off in the near future with the next match-up scheduled to be played in Boulder in 2023. The winner of the game receives a year’s worth of bragging rights, as well as the Centennial Cup.

#7: The Old Main Bell

The story of the Old Main Bell is remarkable.

Installed in the Old Main building in the heart of campus in 1910, it was stolen in 1919 by at least four men who are still unknown. They quickly feared being caught and buried the bell on a farm outside of town. The bell didn’t move for over 50 years and only select members of a CSU fraternity knew of its location.

Fast forward to 2016 and the bell made a surprising appearance — in the front yard of the Director of the CSU Alumni Association’s home. After careful planning and a thoughtful donation from the Associated Students of CSU, the bell rings once again. The new on-campus stadium includes a bell tower where the Old Main Bell will sit proudly for years to come.

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Even more unique opportunities

Getting to know CSU means getting to know Fort Collins. Here, you’ll find unique opportunities that will shape your college experience and make you proud to call Fort Collins home.

5 ways to explore fort collins

Jill Baylis

Jill was a staff member in the Office of Admissions until 2019 when she moved to Denver. As a first-generation college student, she focused on simplifying the college admissions process and helping future Rams find community on campus.