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Freshmen discover Baylor's heritage in campus symbols

Nov. 6, 1998



When freshmen first arrive at Baylor, they are quickly introduced to such traditions as the mascots, Diadeloso, The Baylor Line, and showing Baylor spirit at football games.

Judge Virginia 'Ginny' Crump and Judge Bill 'Billy' Boyd, are symbols of Baylor pride, but the university did not always have a mascot.

It was not until 1914 that the search for the mascot began. Suggestions besides the bear included: the buffalo, the antelope, the frog, the ferret and yes, the bookworm. Students chose the bear 2-1 over the buffalo, calling it the 'patron saint of all Baylordom.'

'Bears have become a tradition in a sense that a bear is taken to all home games and some away games,' said bear trainer Joshua Pittman, a Waco senior. 'She [Ginny] is the presence that represents that Baylor is there.'

Army soldiers at Camp MacArthur inWaco donated the first bear in 1917 and there has been one on campus ever since.

Diadeloso, which is held on the last Thursday in April, began in 1931 as a day 'to bring smiles to the faces of students.'

Then, in 1935, Baylor Chamber of Commerce organized an All-University Day of physical fitness. In 1966 students christened this holiday Diadeloso, or 'Day of The Bear.'

Students hear 'That Good Old Baylor Line' at pep rallies or at the beginning and ending of any Baylor sports event. It origininated in 1906 as a humorous tune similar to 'In the Good Old Summer Time.'

Enid Markham revised it in 1931, and two years later The Baylor Line was officially recognized as a freshman spirit organization.

First-year students also discover Baylor's campus landmarks like the red granite lampposts that can be spotted everywhere. These lampposts were first placed on campus Oct. 25, 1946, to honor casualties of World War II. One hundred and twenty-five lampposts now stand, representing Baylor students who died serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Baylor tradition is also evident at football games, like the Baylor University Golden Wave band and the yell leaders. The band introduced gold uniforms at the Baylor/Southern Methodist University game in 1928. Fans witnessed a giant gold wave and so adopted the name.

Band member Michael Sherman, a 1998 graduate from Honolulu, said he believes the band excites the crowd and energizes Baylor pride.

'We are the people who tie the students and alumni to the past.'

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