History & Tradition
In 1851, the Florida General Assembly passed a bill to establish the all-male Seminary West of the Suwannee River; the first building stood where Westcott Fountain stands today. In 1905, the campus became all-female, and in 1909 it was named the Florida State College for Women (FSCW). In 1947, to accommodate the influx of men returning to college after World War II, the institution became coeducational and was renamed Florida State University.
Garnet and Gold: These school colors were not used on an FSU uniform until 1947, but they actually date back to the Florida State College for Women’s “Odds” and “Evens” athletic teams. Each fall in a series of sporting events, the girls in the odd numbered years faced off against girls in the even-numbered years. The Odds Team chose the colors red, white, and purple, and the Evens Team chose green and gold. The Flambeau, the former school newspaper, referred to the Odds as garnet and the Evens as gold, and the colors eventually became the University’s official colors.
Osceola and Renegade: Deemed the greatest college football tradition by ESPN’s SportsNation, the duo of Osceola and Renegade has mesmerized football fans since 1978. At the beginning of each home game, a student and trained equestrian portraying the Seminole leader Osceola charges down Bobby Bowden Field on an Appaloosa named Renegade. Dressed in traditional Seminole regalia, Osceola plants an eight foot, flaming spear midfield to the roaring applause of 83,000 fans.
Vires. Artes. Mores. Strength, Skill, and Character—the virtues inscribed on our University seal are the values FSU students strive to live by. Florida State University is rich in traditions, and when you become a ‘Nole, you become part of a family that recognizes and celebrates its heritage. Be inspired by the past, get involved in the present, and look forward to a fulfilling future!
The Seminole Tribe of Florida: Florida State does not have a mascot. Instead, we have the honor of calling ourselves “Seminoles” in admiration of the only Native American tribe never conquered by the U.S. Government. FSU considers it a great privilege to represent a group of people whose courage and spirit we admire and respect. Through the years, the administration has made it clear the university will not engage in any activity that does not have the approval of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The Seminoles do not just give a stamp of approval from afar—they are full participants in the activities of the university. Their leaders have publicly stated that they feel the FSU family is part of their family. Learn more by visiting unicomm.fsu.edu/messages/relationship-seminole-tribe-florida.
Westcott Fountain: A gift from the 1915 and 1917 classes of the Florida State College for Women, Westcott Fountain has become an icon of the University. At FSU’s “ring ceremony,” the University President presents students with their class rings. At precisely 6:51 p.m., which in military time is our founding date of 1851, students dip their rings into Westcott fountain’s waters and pause for a moment of reflection.
The Marching Chiefs: At FSU, there’s music in the air. The Marching Chiefs are perhaps the most well-known of FSU’s musical ensembles. This band of approximately 400 students performs at all home football games and traditionally travels to two or three out-of-town games during the football season. The Chiefs are a central feature of the annual Prism Concert, which features the complete spectrum of band activities at FSU.