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Baylor Spirit Traditions

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Baylor Green & Gold

Spring time and a train ride inspired selection of school colors ... In 1897, while on a train to Bryan for a debate tournament, a member of the student committee which had previously been selected to choose appropriate colors for the University, looked out the window at the wild spring dandelions and remarked that the vivid yellow and green flowers made a "lovely combination." Other committee members present agreed and when they returned to Waco, the color combination of "green and gold" was recommended and readily adopted by the student body.

The Bears

The Mascot could have been the Buffalo, Antelope, Frog, Ferret or Bookworm ... After seventy years without an official mascot, students in 1914 voted to name the bear the official "Patron Saint of all Baylordom." More than two dozen animals were on the ballot; the bruin defeated the buffalo by more than two-to-one margin. The first bear to arrive on campus was a gift from soldiers at Camp MacArthur in Waco in 1917.

The Baylor School Song - That Good Old Baylor Line

A desire for sophistication led to the words of the Alma Mater...In 1906 a student penned humorous words to the tune of "In the Good Old Summer Time" and they became generally accepted among the student body as the school song. However, in 1931, Mrs. Enid Eastland Markham, wife of music professor Robert Markham, feeling the words were not dignified enough nor representative of the total University, wrote new lyrics which were presented in chapel in November and soon sanctioned as the official school song. The "Good Old Summer Time" tune was later arranged to fit Mrs. Markham's "Baylor Line" through the work of Jack Goode, Donald I. Moore and Charles F. Brown. Several other arrangements have been produced as well.


The Baylor Line is the core of Baylor Spirit and Tradition: an organization composed entirely of freshmen. Students wear a football jersey with the number of their graduation year and nickname on the back. Before each football game, the Line gathers at one end of Floyd Casey Stadium and waits for the signal to rush the field. Led by Six Baylor Line members running flags with the letters B-A-Y-L-O-R, the line rushes the field and creates an enormous human tunnel for the football players to run through. After that, students charge the sidelines and stand in an exclusive Baylor Line section behind the opponents' bench. Here, students heckle the other team while cheering Baylor to victory!

Yell Leaders

To enhance the student body in cheering ... Since the turn of the century and the rise of the popularity of athletic competition, various groups of individuals lead cheers for the Baylor teams. There was no organized leadership for this activity until 1920 when the student body officially elected male representatives to lead the school yells. In 1968 females were allowed to be members of the group.

Homecoming Bonfire

For many decades, freshmen were charged with guarding the Baylor campus from intruders during Homecoming week. The practice dates back to 1909 when TCU, then located in Waco, was the Bears' first Homecoming opponent. To thwart their cross-town rival's raids, all Baylor men tended overnight fires while guarding the campus. Eventually, manning the barricades became the duty of freshmen men. The enemy also changed, from TCU to Texas A&M. In 1946, freshmen held guard during the five nights preceding the game to prevent the Aggies from painting the campus or kidnapping Chita, the new bear mascot. Bonfires were lit each night in different strategic locations, with the Friday night blaze serving as the climax.

The Immortal Ten

An unprecedented tragedy took their lives ... On the misty-rainy morning of January 22, 1927, a shattering tragedy caused a pall of sadness to engulf the campus and brought national attention to the University. In Round Rock, shortly before noon on that day, a speeding train smashed into a bus filled with Baylor basketball athletes and supporters. The accident left ten dead and numerous others injured. To remember those who lost their lives, the names of the "Immortal Ten" are called out every year during Homecoming Week. The full story of the Immortal Ten is available at the Homecoming Web site.