Cal- University of California at Berkeley

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If there is one university in the state of California that has maintained many school traditions for all these years, it is the University of California at Berkeley, also known as Berkeley, UC Berkeley California, or simply Cal.

This university, which was established in 1868, was the first public university in the state to be called the University of California. Nowadays, however, University of California system is composed of many UC universities all across the state.

One of the traditions that stuck to Cal since its foundation is the school colors, which are gold and blue. The founders of Berkeley chose gold to represent the Golden State and blue, which came from Yale blue, because most of the founders of this university came from Yale. Ever since the athletic teams of the University of California at Berkeley started to join intercollegiate games in 1882, they already wore gold and blue. The school's sports teams, alumni, and students are called the Golden Bears. It all started in 1895 when the track and field team impressed a lot of people by winning five of the eight competitions. As a result of the remarkable wins, Berkeley became known across the US as a formidable athletics team.

In honor of the stunning performance of the track and field team that year, UC Berkeley professor Charles Mills Gayley created a song entitled "The Golden Bear." Since then, the California sports teams have been called by that name. Berkeley's mascots before 1941 were live bear cubs. However, for the safety of the spectators, the school decided to use costumed mascots instead. In 1941, Oski the Bear, the official mascot of Berkeley, was introduced. The name of the mascot came from the Oski-wow-wow yell. Nowadays, there is an Oski Committee whose sole purpose is to take care of the costume and also to keep secret the identity of the person wearing it.

In order to guard the Big C - which was often vandalized by students of Stanford College - and other traditions and school spirits of Cal, the UC Rally Committee was established in 1901. The members of this committee have always been present at main spirit and sports events, they are charged with maintaining and caring for the large California banner, the Big C, the California Victory Canon, Card Stunts, and the five Cal flags. Moreover, the Rally Committee is also responsible for keeping the Stanford Axe when ever it is in the possession of the University of California at Berkeley.

The California Victory Cannon and the Card Stunts are two of the original Cal school traditions. The victory cannon, first used in the Big Game in 1963, is fired off at the start of every football match, every time the Golden Bears scored, and also after a win. The first time that the cannon ran out of ammunition was on September 7, 1991 when the Golden Bears won a match against the Pacific. The Card Stunt, also known as the bleacher stunt, is something that Cal students invented. The card stunts, consist of a blue Big C and a Stanford Axe picture, were first conducted during a 1910 Big Game.

Freddie Brister is a big fan of College Football. Check out his Cal Golden Bears Store or his Florida Gators Merchandise at SportsFanTreasures.

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