Hallmarks of a University
Along with the University seal, the color orange and the Block “S” have historically represented Syracuse University. These old traditions and insignia elicit spirit and pride in students, alumni, and other members of the campus and greater community.
Origin of the Color Orange
Syracuse University declared pink and pea green as its first colors in 1872, though a year later they changed to pink and blue. Students were unhappy with these colors, and, in 1890, the senior class agitated for change. A committee was formed and discovered that no other college or university had claimed the singular color orange. That year the faculty, Board of Trustees, and Alumni Association gave their approval, and orange became Syracuse University’s official color. Since then, the color orange has become an emblem of the University, saturating its history, from pennants and athletic uniforms to Otto the Orange and even the name of the student newspaper, The Daily Orange.
Origin of the Block S
At an 1893 Athletic Governing Board meeting, the Block “S” was officially established as the highest award for a Syracuse University athlete. Baseball player George Bond, Class of 1894, was the first to wear the Block “S” when he sported it on a sweater at a baseball game that spring. For decades the letter was awarded to athletes at an annual Block “S” Dinner. While the Block “S” has historically been a symbol of Syracuse University athletics, the wider University community also identifies with it. “The Block ’S’ allows us to respect the past and represent the future,” stated Athletic Director Daryl Gross when he announced the Block “S” as the University’s official athletics logo in 2005. “The ’S’ represents not only the University and its athletics program, but the entire Syracuse community.”