University of Minnesota


For 29 years before 1880, the school used different colors for each graduation. In 1880, then University President Folwell began the tradition of using common school colors throughout the University. He asked an English professor to choose the colors that would represent the University in events. Her choice, maroon and gold, have since been the official school colors of the University of Minnesota. From the Sioux battle cry inspired “Ski-U-Mah”, to a mascot born out of state politics, to the birth of Big Ten cheerleading, Golden Gophers games are full of history.

Nickname:  Gophers
School Colors:  Maroon & Gold
Mascot:  Goldie Gopher



McNamara Alumni Center 200 Oak Street SE Minneapolis, MN 55455 Join Gopher fans of all ages at the McNamara Center, starting three hours before game kick-off. Food and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) are available for purchase. Activities include entertainment and college football games shown on jumbo screens. The party continues during and after the game. ... (more)


Two hours before game kick-off, Gopher fans join the marching band, spirit squads, and Goldy on the Tribal Nations Plaza as they form a tunnel of maroon and gold for the arriving Minnesota football team to walk through. The Gopher Victory Walk is led by former Gopher players, the Palermo’s Honorary Captain, Goldy Gopher and the Tailgate Patrol. (more)


GOLDY GOPHER When the University of Minnesota adopted the state’s nickname in 1887, the Gophers were born. It was not until 1952, 65 years later, that the school mascot appeared. Goldy Gopher came about when an assistant bandmaster bought a suit for a band student to wear at... (more)

Goldy began this trademark move to fire up the crowd at sporting events. It involves him spinning his head as the crowd cheers “Spin Your Head!”  ... (more)


University of Minnesota Marching Band Traditions The U of M Marching Band was founded in 1892 as a Cadet band with only 29 members. It continued to grow both in size and popularity until it was asked to perform the halftime show for the 1910 football season. Eight years later, the Cadet band joined with the Army band to form the First Re... (more)


Hail Minnesota “Hail! Minnesota” was written by Truman Rickard over a year-long span, reaching from 1903 to 1904. It was originally intended to be the 1904 class song when Truman began writing it with a friend while on a camping trip, but it snowballed into becoming the official state song in 1945. The final version of the song is not how it was originally written; o... (more)


Approximately two hours before kick-off, immediately following the Gopher Victory Walk, the U of M Marching Band performs their pregame and half-time music, along with all of the traditional Gopher songs to get the crowd geared up for the game on the Tribal Nations Plaza, located just east of TCF Bank Stadium. http://... (more)


The “Block M” is the main Marching Band tradition. In their football game halftime routine, band members form the outline of a capital ‘M’ in the University lettering. After the formation, the band rotates 180 degrees and walks the M down the field back to their original location, keeping the letter intact at all times. This may sound simple, but is truly an incredible s... (more)


In 1884, two University of Minnesota rugby players, John W. Adams and Win Sargent, decided to come up with a chant for their team. They came up with Ski-U-Mah: “Ski” is a Sioux battle cry meaning victory. “U-Mah” represents the University of Minnesota. Combining these together, they created a team cheer that meant victory to Minnesota. This cheer has been put into both official school song... (more)