University of Illinois


Since 1868, the University of Illinois has been the heart of the Champaign-Urbana area. The Illini cheer “Oskee-Wow-Wow” in the spirit of their former icon, Chief Illiniwek, while sporting the school colors Orange and Blue (the colors went from silver & cardinal in 1879, to black & yellow, to crimson & olive green, to orange & blue in 1893). Whether it refers to a shortened version of “Illinois” or to the Native Americans that once lived in the area, the Illini gush pride from one of the oldest Homecoming celebrations to the stoic campus architecture.

Nickname:  Illini
School Colors:  Orange & Blue
Mascot:   Presently, none. Chief Illiniwek (1926-2007)



The nickname "Illini" first appeared in 1874 as the name of the school newspaper, and was used to describe the students, faculty, staff and alumni. The term “Fighting Illini” began to refer to the sports teams during a 1921 fundraising campaign for the building of Memorial Stadium. It is unclear whether the term was originally intended to refer to the Native Americans that once resided in what... (more)


Oskee-Wow-Wow The Illinois fight song was written in 1911 by two students who felt that the official school song, “Illinois Loyalty," did not sufficiently rouse the crowd during a game. It was written to be played after a touchdown in football, and is now also played after first downs. In basketball, it is played leading into time-outs... (more)


Marching Illini Alumni Band in the Homecoming Parade. Photo courtesy of[/captio... (more)