Traditions

Commencement

Commencement is our celebration of the ultimate success of our students. Commencement recognizes the completion of the degree and gives us a look forward to life following experiences as a UMD student.

Feast of Nations

The UMD Feast of Nations was started in Duluth in 1968. A small group of international students gathered at the home of Magaret Orlich to prepare a meal together and perform songs and dances from their native countries. The Feast of Nations became an annual event, now hosting 300 guests, including UMD students, faculty, staff and members of the community. Students from the College of St. Scholastica and the University of Wisconsin, Superior also participate.

Guests are treated to exhibits from around the world, a banquet of exotic dishes and lively entertainment. The Feast of Nations is usually held in late March or early April.

Homecoming

UMD celebrates homecoming each fall by inviting alumni and friends to come back to the campus and participate in a variety of events. A homecoming parade and football game are the hallmarks of homecoming, but a footrace, music, food, and other events add to the festival atmosphere.

Mascot

The University of Minnesota Duluth mascot is the bulldog, named Champ. When UMD was the Duluth State Teachers College, the traditional designation was "peds" for pedagogues or teachers, but this did not suffice as an appropriate image for UMD's athletic teams. In the spring of 1933 the athletes themselves picked the bulldog as the school's mascot. Originally named "Killer," the mascot's name was changed to "Champ" in 1997 to present a less violent image.

Powwow

During Spring 2000 the Anishinabe Student Organization will host its 30th Annual Traditional Powwow. The powwow is the largest single diversity event held on the UMD campus. In the past the powwow has featured 10 to 20 drums and singers, 75 to 100 dancers in regalia, and has often 800 to 1000 people have enjoyed the feast. The powwow is open to all and is indicative of UMD's commitment to American Indian history and culture.

Regents Seal

The antique lamp on the regents seal represents the metaphysical sciences; the telescope, the physical sciences; the plow, the industrial arts; and the palette with brushes, the fine arts. The Latin motto means "a common bond for all the arts."

School Colors

Because the University's colors varied during the early years, William Watts Folwell, first president of the University, appointed English instructor Augusta Norwood Smith to choose permanent school colors. Smith, "a woman of excellent taste," according to Folwell, chose maroon and gold. First used sometime between 1876 and 1880, the colors weren't officially approved by the regents until March 1940. The original school colors of UMD were green and gold, when UMD was the Duluth State Teachers College. The colors were changed to maroon and gold after the campus became part of the University of Minnesota System in 1947.

School Songs

"Hail! Minnesota" was written by Truman Rickard, class of 1904, for use in a class play. University student Arthur Upson wrote a second verse in 1905. In 1945, the song became the official state anthem. The "Minnesota Rouser," sung at most University athletic events, was written by Floyd M. Hutsell in 1909 in response to a contest sponsored by the Minneapolis Tribune. The spirited "UMD Rouser" is a variation of the "Minnesota Rouser."

The words to the UMD Rouser were submitted by Mike Dean, 2007-08 Alumni Board President:

"UMD Rouser"
Now let us praise UMD
Ever strong, and true we will be
And to the Bulldogs name
Maroon and Gold's our fame
We hail University, Rah, Rah, Rah
"U"-"M"-"D", Always with our loyalty
Sing and cheer to be victorious UMD!
B-U-L-L-D-O-G-S. Hey, BULLDOGS.

UMD Comes of Age

UMD Historian Neil Storch and UMD Photographer Ken Moran collaborated on "UMD Comes of Age: The First One Hundred Years," published in 1996. For a deeper look into the history and traditions of UMD, please see this excellent book.


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