Facts about Cornell


What are Cornell's school colors, mascot, and alma mater?

Cornell's colors are carnelian and white.

A depiction of a bear, and/or the words "Bear" or "Big Red Bear", often are associated with Cornell activities and services, particularly with varsity athletics. The name "Big Red Bear" originated in 1916, when the Cornell varsity football team collected $25 to buy a black bear cub, which they named Touchdown, to serve as a mascot. The cub was from Maine and was owned by S.E. Hunkin. Over the years, this athletics mascot changed from a live bear to a bear costume, which was worn by Cornell students. For Homecoming 1988, a costumed female Big Red Bear joined the costumed male Big Red Bear. Cornell's varsity teams are each nicknamed simply "the Big Red".

The lyrics to the Cornell Alma Mater are:

Far above Cayuga's waters
With its waves of blue
Stands our noble Alma Mater
Glorious to view
(Refrain) Lift the chorus
Speed it onward
Loud her praises tell
Hail to thee our Alma Mater
Hail, all hail, Cornell!

Far above the busy humming
Of the bustling town
Reared against the arch of heaven
Looks she proudly down
(Refrain)

Sentry-like o'er lake and valley
Towers her regal form
Watch and ward forever keeping
Braving time and storm
So through clouds of doubt and darkness
Gleams her beacon light
Fault and error clear revealing
Blazing forth the right

To the glory of her founder
Rise her stately walls
May her sons pay equal tribute
Whene'er duty calls
When the moments swiftly fleeting
Ages roll between
Many yet unborn shall hail her
Alma Mater, Queen!

In the music of the waters
As they glide along
In the murmur of the breezes
With their whispered song
In the tuneful chorus blending
With each pealing bell
One refrain seems oft repeated
Hail, all hail, Cornell

Here, by flood and foaming torrent
Gorge and rocky dell
Pledge we faith and homage ever
To our loved Cornell.
May time ne'er efface the memory
Of her natal day
And her name and fame be honored
Far and wide alway!