Aug 122010
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

Consider yourselves lucky, freshmen.

Had you been born decades ago and chose CSU as your alma mater, you’d be wearing a beanie right now. Yes, freshmen at the good ole’ green and gold, starting in 1914 and ending in the late 1960s, wore beanies until the “Rite of the Cane” competition at the end of fall. If you were caught not donning a beanie by an upperclassman, in the horse trough you went.

Seriously. At “Rite of the Cane” freshmen raced sophomores to a cane stuck in the ground and whichever team had the most hands on the cane won. If the freshmen lost, beanies were worn until summer break began and they morphed into sophomores.

 The “For-Ever-Green” book, which holds all of CSU’s prized traditions and tales, can walk you through the extended history of campus.

For now, we’ll go over some of the Collegian’s top picks.  
Fum’s Song

Thurman “Fum” McGraw created a football legacy, it goes a little something like this:

“I’ll sing you a song of college days,
and tell you where to go.
 Aggies, where your knowledge is,
and Boulder to spend your dough.
C.C. for your sissy boys,
and Utah for your times,
D.U. for your ministers,
and drunkards, School of Mines.
Don’t send my boy to Wyoming U.,
a dying mother said.
Don’t send him to old Brigham Young,
I’d rather see him dead.
But send him to our Aggies,
It’s better than Cornell.
Before I’d see him in Boulder,
I’d see my son in hell!”

Catchy right?
McGraw was the first consensus All-American football player to take CSU’s field and went on to play in the NFL. He eventually came back to his Aggies and served as athletic director for 10 years.
The Stump

If you’re standing on The Stump, you better be speaking your mind.

Literally the base of a tree, The Stump is housed on the Lory Student Center Plaza and is open to anyone who needs to shout out feelings, thoughts, theories or messages. According to the “For-Ever-Green” book, the hunk of wood has a checkered history of disappearing from the Plaza and turning up years later in a random “dusty” corner of campus.

On any given day, a student can walk through the Plaza and see someone sharing their thoughts while standing on The Stump. Sometimes it may not be what you’re looking to hear, but The Stump is symbolic of your First Amendment rights.

Who knows, you might find yourself up there one day.
*The “A”* 

If you haven’t already heard, your Ram Welcome leader is going to invite you to hike to the CSU landmark sometime this weekend. 

Overlooking Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium, where you’ll attend many a’ football game, the “A” is representative of times past at CSU.

Back before Colorado was a state, the university was the territory’s agricultural school. 

Right after World War I, students felt it was time to hop on the popular bandwagon of displaying your school’s letter on the side of a mountain, and the Aggie “A” was born.

The college decided Dec. 12 was a special day and students worked six hours to erect the landmark. Funny thing: The school didn’t own the land and had to strike a deal with landowner R.G. Maxwell to “negotiate” a lease. How much you ask?: $1.

Decades later, the Rams still get together to whitewash our Aggie “A.” I mean, it is tradition.

Comatose, the Army ROTC cannon

Don’t be alarmed when the Rams’ touchdowns are paired with a loud, warlike cannon boom. It’s just CSU’s Army and ROTC students manning the 1897 French A4 cannon.

Since 1954, ROTC has fired the cannon for every scoring play against our opponents — they mean business.

Bill Morgan’s nose 

Yes, most everyone has a proboscis. But former CSU President Bill Morgan’s nose is lucky, some say.

Serving the university for 20 years, Morgan was an economist who played a part in the making of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and helped implement the Marshall Plan in Europe.

If you’re an economics major, you may want to visit his statue in the entryway of The Morgan Library for some much-needed good luck before those final exams.

Now that you’re familiar with some of the traditions left behind by former Rams, you young rammies, get to go make some of your own.

But always remember to take to The Stump if you’ve got something to say, appreciate your Aggie “A”, rub Bill Morgan’s nose before your exams and for the love of all things green and gold, bring back Fum’s Song.

Assistant News Editor Kirsten Silveira can be reached at

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