Rice Traditions

Rice Academic Seal and Logo
The academic seal of Rice University was designed in 1912 by Mr. Pierre de Chaignon la Rose of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who combined the main elements of the arms of sixteen prominent families bearing the names "Rice" or "Houston." Owls of Athena--symbolic of wisdom--were chosen for the charges. The Athenian owls on the Rice seal were patterned after a design found on a small, silver tetradrachmenon coin dating from the middle of the fifth century B.C. And because Rice University was dedicated by its founder to the advancement of "letters, science, and art," these words also were incorporated into the seal.

Rice Colors: Blue and Gray
In 1912, Rice's first president, Edgar Odell Lovett, chose as the school colors "a blue still deeper than the Oxford blue" and "the Confederate gray, enlivened by a tinge of lavender." It has been suggested that blue and gray were chosen in recognition of the fact that Rice's founder amassed much of the fortune that formed the initial endowment of the Rice Institute by trading with both the North and the South during the Civil War.

Residential Colleges

Baker Brown Hanszen Jones Lovett Martel Sid Rich Wiess Will Rice Duncan McMurtry

At most universities, the word "college" refers to the entire institution, to the undergraduate program, or to a particular academic division. At Rice, "college" is a way of life. All new students are assigned to one of 11 social and residential units, or colleges: Baker, Brown, Hanszen, Jones, Lovett, Martel, Richardson, Wiess, Will Rice, and the two newest colleges, Duncan and McMurtry. Each college houses approximately 220 men and women; another hundred or so members of each college live off campus. Approximately 80 percent of all undergraduates live on campus.

Each college functions as a selfsupporting unit, boasting its own government, budget, courses, sports teams, and dining facility, or commons. Colleges also house private dining rooms for special events, and facilities such as TV and recreational lounges, libraries, computer labs, laundry rooms, sand volleyball courts, barbecue pits, and courtyards.

The colleges reflect the academic, geographic, and cultural diversity of the entire student body. Assignments to colleges are random, though special requests are possible. As a result, they are very diverse and egalitarian institutions, each with its own traditions and college pride.

To an impressive extent, the colleges are self-governing. Students manage sizable budgets, operate judicial systems, assign rooms, and coordinate a wide range of activities and events that include intramural sports, speaker and film series, plays, service projects, and giant schoolwide parties.

Rice Mascot: Owl
When athletic activities began at the Rice Institute in 1912, the teams adopted as their mascot the owl from the Rice seal. Over the years, Rice's various mascots have included students dressed in owl costumes, live Great Horned Owls, and large owl statues of fiberglass and of canvas, the latter being particularly famous in Rice lore (see below).

Mascot Name: "Sammy"
An early symbol of Rice's athletic teams was large canvas owl, a tempting target for the Institute's rivals. In 1917, when students from Southwest Conference football rival Texas A&M kidnapped the owl, Rice students pooled their resources and hired a private detective to go to College Station to find the missing mascot. When the detective, having recovered the owl, sent a coded telegram to Houston that read "Sammy is fairly well and would like to see his parents at eleven o'clock," the Rice mascot had a name.

Alma Mater: Rice's Honor
All for Rice's Honor, we will fight on.
We will be fighting when this day is done.
And when the dawn comes breaking,
We'll be fighting on, Rice, for the Gray and Blue.
We will be loyal, to Rice be true.

(To the tune of "Our Director March," written by Ben H. Mitchell '24 in 1922)

Rice Fight Song
Fight for Rice, Rice fight on, loyal sons arise.
The Blue and Gray for Rice today, comes breaking through skies.
Fight, fight, fight!
Stand and cheer, Vict'ry's near, Sammy leads the way.
Onward go! to crush the foe, we'll fight for Blue and Gray.
(Words and music by Louis Gerard '40)

The Old Gray Bonnet
Put on your old gray bonnet
with the blue ribbon on it
And we'll take old Sammy to the fray
And we'll rock, rock, rock'em
And we'll sock, sock, sock'em
To the end of Judgment Day.

The media files contained on this site are for personal listening use only and may not be redistributed or sold. Recordings are the property of Rice University and protected under Copyright law, all rights reserved.

The Marching Owl Band (The MOB) differs from traditional marching bands. The concept of the MOB's halftime shows during football season has been to integrate field action and formations with a script to present an entertaining and often thought-provoking experience. Current events, social change, and general fantasies provide the basis for show ideas. The MOB's director combines special musical arrangements with unusual concepts in performance to produce unique halftime entertainment.

Membership in the MOB is open to all students, whether they are musically gifted or not. Those who do not play an instrument help in the production of halftime shows as MOB Show Assistants. Benefits of being in the MOB include tickets to road games, attendance scholarships, and travel.

Questions? Email The Mob

Rice Owls Cheer
The Rice Owls Cheer is a small coed team that cheers at all football games, men's and women's home basketball games, and women's home volleyball games. They also promote campus-wide school spirit and game attendance throughout the year as well as participate in several community service activities.

There are two tryouts for the squad: one in the spring for returning students, and another in the fall for freshmen. Both men and women are welcome to tryout. Tryouts typically consist of performing a cheer, a short sideline dance, jumps, tumbling, and stunting.

Questions? Email Cheer

Rice Owls Dance Team

The Rice Owls Dance is a small group of dancers who perform at home football and basketball games. Team members choreograph and perform a variety of jazz and hip-hop dances throughout the year. Members also participate in a variety of social and community service activities, culminating in a charity benefit concert at the end of the year.

Questions? Email Dance



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