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Facts about UC Berkeley to spark your school spirit

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OCTOBER 18, 2019

It’s time for that UC Berkeley pride and spirit to grow exponentially, as homecoming season is here along with a swarm of blue and gold colors everywhere your head turns. Here are some additions to your UC Berkeley fact archive that you’ve been marinating since you first stepped onto campus for homecoming week. You can share these facts with your roommate, parents, prospective student or a random Berkeley citizen on the street. How many of these did you already know?


Blue is one of UC Berkeley’s colors as an homage to the Yale graduates that helped establish the school. The committee that chose the colors in 1873 thought it would be appropriate to adopt Yale Blue because the majority of the founders and early administrators had graduated from the Ivy League college. Since 2007, UC Berkeley adopted its own shade of blue — Pantone 282.


Our beloved mascot, Oski, was created by The Daily Californian’s very own editor-artist Warrington Colescott, ‘42, and student William Rockwell, ‘48. Oski just celebrated his 78th birthday. He made his first appearance at the Cal vs. St. Mary football game in Sept. 27, 1941, during which he ended UC Berkeley’s use of live bear cubs as mascots.

Sather Gate

Here is an appropriate fact to provide some chills for the daunting Halloween season about our campus: UC Berkeley professor and architect John Galen Howard supposedly created and installed Sather Gate in 1910 to prevent vampires from coming onto the campus. It was featured in the movie “Monsters University” — is that telling yet?

South Hall

The oldest building on our campus, South Hall, has been a versatile building throughout UC Berkeley’s history. Since it was completed in 1873, it has acted as the campus’s first library, held laboratories for the agricultural, natural and physical sciences, held the office of the UC president from 1899-1906 and currently houses the UC Berkeley School of Information. Legend also says that Walt Disney was inspired by the architecture of South Hall for the famous rooftop umbrella dancing scene in “Mary Poppins.”

California Memorial Stadium

Be aware of what the thundering crowds can do at our homecoming game! There is a crack in Memorial Stadium because the structure sits on the Hayward Fault, which runs through our campus. There are multiple spots at the stadium where displacement can be spotted — the most famous being the creeping crack at Section KK. Will it split?

The Campanile

Whether it’s lit up with blue and yellow artificial lighting or glowing from the sunset over the Bay, Sather Tower, likewise known as the Campanile, is an iconic structure of our UC Berkeley campus. Our sense of pride that stems from this beauty can be evermore so heightened with the knowledge that the Campanile is the third-tallest bell and clock tower in the world, standing at 307 feet tall.

So, there you have it! We hope these fun facts about iconic UC Berkeley symbols have made your heart bleed even more blue and gold, and have also encouraged you to yell “Go Bears!” a little louder this homecoming season.

Contact Anna Kurianowicz at [email protected].

OCTOBER 18, 2019