More than 100 years ago, on the windswept plains of Oklahoma Territory, veterinary medicine professor Dr. L.L. Lewis assembled a group of Oklahoma A&M students to participate in the first territorial Track and Field Meet. Held on May 4, 1900, the event included Alva Normal College, Central Normal of Edmond, Kingfisher College and the University of Oklahoma, along with OAMC. The prize of the tournament was a silver cup donated by a local jeweler named Douglas. To everyone?s surprise, A&M won the meet and returned to Stillwater with the traveling trophy.
In 1901, A&M won again, and a third consecutive win would mean the Douglas Cup was theirs to keep. The meet was held on May 23, 1902, and at the end of the day, the Aggies had amassed the most points. The team from Norman filed a protest on the grounds that the pole vault competition had been completed due to darkness, but their protest was overruled. The Douglas Cup belonged to Oklahoma A&M.
The next day, the Sooners held their own vault competition and declared themselves the winner. Several weeks later, the Douglas Cup was missing from its place in a glass case in the chemistry lab. Students recalled seeing some unfamiliar boys around campus, and students from OU were immediately suspected. A group of A&M students made a surprise trip to Norman and soon returned with the Douglas Cup, reportedly burying it under Old Central for safekeeping. Ten years later, when excavation was being done for Gundersen Hall, the trophy was found. Though dented from and tarnished from its past, the Douglas Cup was given a place of honor on campus. Today it resides in Heritage Hall, a proud symbol of the tradition that is Oklahoma State University.
Notable among a number of songs commonly played and sung at athletic games are: The Waving Song, Ride 'Em Cowboys (the Oklahoma State University fight song), and the OSU Chant. The Waving Song goes: Oklahoma State! Oklahoma State! We'll sing your praise tonight; To let you know where e're we go, For the Orange and Black we'll fight We'll sing your worth o'er all the Earth And shout: Ki Yi! Ki Ye! In books of fame we'll write your name, Oklahoma State! The Fight Song goes: Ride, ride, ride, ride, Ride'em Cowboys, Right down the field; Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight'em Cowboys, and never yield. Ride, ride, ride, ride, Ride on, Cowboys, to victory; Cross (opponent)'s goal; Then we'll sing O-kla-homa State! The OSU Chant goes: GO! GO! GO POKES! GO POKES! GO POKES GO! O!...S!...U! O S U The greatest in the nation O S U The team that's got the go spirit and the will to win Make a score and we'll shout Beat (team)!! O S U It's orange and black we're cheering on to victory today And then we'll say O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A! STATE! Univer-si-ty! The Waving Song, Ride 'Em Cowboys! and the OSU Chant.
Oklahoma State University was founded on December 25, 1890, as Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, just twenty months after the Land Run of 1889. When the first students assembled for class on December 14, 1891, there were no buildings, no books, and no curriculum. In 1894, two and one-half years after classes began in local churches, 144 students moved into the first academic building, later known as Old Central, on the southeast corner of campus. In 1896, Oklahoma A&M; held its first commencement with six male graduates. On July 1, 1957, Oklahoma A&M College became Oklahoma State University. Technical branches were established in Okmulgee in 1946 and in Oklahoma City in 1961. (In 1990 their names were changed to OSU-Okmulgee and OSU-Oklahoma City.) In July of 1988, the Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery became the College of Osteopathic Medicine of OSU.
Pistol Pete is the man who claims to be the living model for the logo-mascot. Laying claim to "Pistol Pete" are New Mexico State University, The University of Wyoming, and Oklahoma State University. All three use the cartoon of Frank Eaton. The three universities acknowledge the likeness of the logo each of them uses and apparently are content to share the claim to the crusty, old cowboy "Pistol Pete".
Dr. B. B. Chapman, historian of Oklahoma State University, has set out the Oklahoma State University version of how Frank Eaton became the living model for the cartoon logo: The living emblem of the cartoon cowboy of OSU is 94-year-old Frank B. (Pistol Pete) Eaton of Perkins. Oklahoma A & M (Now OSU) in the Nineties adopted the orange and black colors of Princeton University. The college emblem was the tiger, which supposedly was copied from Princeton. In the early Twenties, there was dissatisfaction among Aggies because the tiger did not truly represent Oklahoma. About 1923, Frank Eaton, on horseback headed an Armistice parade in Stillwater, Leslie L. Swim of Stillwater relates how a group of students saw Pistol Pete and the quest for an emblem ended. He recalls that permission was asked to use Eaton's picture and he consented.
The basketball and wrestling venue at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Gallagher-Iba Arena was completed in 1938 with a price tag of $1.5 million to hold 4-H meetings. The original structure, called the 4-H Club and Student Activity Building when it was built in 1938 was dubbed the "Madison Square Garden of the Plains," standing as one of the premier sporting venues in the region. The arena was unveiled in grand fashion, as national basketball powers Oklahoma State and Kansas opened the facility on December 9, 1938, in a game that matched coaching legends Henry Iba and Phog Allen. Mr. Iba's Cowboys won that game, 21-15.
The facility was quickly rechristened as Gallagher Hall in honor of fabled Oklahoma A&M wrestling coach Ed Gallagher. The facility would see a second name change in 1987, when the Board of Regents amended Gallagher Hall's name to recognize legendary Cowboy basketball coach Henry Iba. Two seats are permanently reserved for Gallagher and Iba in the southeast corner of the arena on the concourse level.
Iba also encouraged the creation of one of the first student sections, where everyone wore identical orange suit coats and rang cowbells. It is truly college hoops hallowed ground. Before expansion, when Gallagher-Iba held just 6,381 fans, this was easily the loudest arena in the nation. A well-planned expansion called "Raise the Roof" changed none of the ambiance, kept all the original seats and sight lines and somehow increased the noise.
The ultimate combination of history, uniqueness, location and excitement, Gallagher-Iba has even survived a recent expansion to remain the nation's best facility to catch a game. How much tradition does the old barn out where the wind comes sweeping down the plains have? Before moving into Gallagher Hall, the Oklahoma A&M Aggies played in the original Armory (where the Business Administration building now stands) from 1907 until 1919, when they moved into the new Armory (old gym) which is now the Architecture Building. The original capacity of Gallagher Hall (9,000) decreased throughout the years, due to fire codes and such. By the 1986-87 season - prior to the first major renovation - the capacity was 6,750.
This magnificent building underwent a massive $55 million renovation and expansion project and is now part of the OSU Athletics Center. Funding of the project was a total team effort, supported by Oklahoma State students (through a self-imposed activity fee), private donations, loyal season-ticket holders and a use tax voted on by the citizens of Stillwater.
Many factors contribute to the "college experience" - not the least of which is gaining a feeling of belonging and a sense of loyalty to the school, it's faculty and staff, the community that embraces the university, and the athletic teams that compete to garner conference and national honors. Wearing school colors and displaying emblems of the university are life-long symbols of allegiance. For Oklahoma State, Orange Peel and Homecoming are yearly celebrations that bring much activity and excitement.
A tradition that began with head coach Les Miles continues with head coach Mike Gundy. The night before football games, the team stays in the Atherton Hotel at the Student Union. On game day, two hours and fifteen minutes prior to the start of the game, the team walks down Hester Street to Boone Pickens Stadium. Coach Gundy leads the spirited parade, followed by the OSU Marching band, the spirit squad, and, of course, the players. Fans already at the stadium gather on the side of the road and cheer their Cowboys on to victory. This tradition quickly became a favorite of Cowboy fans, creating a new and exciting way for the team to enter the stadium.
The OSU Alma Mater is played at twenty past the hour by the Library Carillon on campus. Whenever OSU faithful gather, alums use their arms to spell the letters O-S-U on the final three notes of the song. And all Cowboys know the left arm is up on the S! Started during the 2002 season by OSU Football Coach Les Miles and continued today by Mike Gundy is the post-game singing of the OSU alma mater. After every win at Boone Pickens Stadium, OSU players and coaches gather in front of the student section in the northwest corner of the stadium and sing the alma mater. All fans, students and non-students are encouraged to remain in the stands after OSU victories and join the Cowboys for the alma mater hymn. The Cowboys even sang the alma mater in Norman in 2001, following their upset win over the Oklahoma Sooners. Cowboy fans were seated in a corner of Owen Field, and when the final buzzer rang, with the score OSU 16 - OU 13, the team stood on the field in front of them and celebrated the victory with their loyal fans.
After the conclusion of the singing of the alma mater, be on the lookout for the "Lewis Field Leap." The Leap, whose name is derived from the original name of Boone Pickens Stadium, started as an impromptu celebration by Cowboy football players who would jump into the OSU student section. The Leap quickly grew in popularity, and now it is not uncommon to see many players scale the Boone Pickens Stadium walls and join their fellow students to celebrate a Cowboy victory.
The idea for the Spirit Rider came from then-OSU Band Director Richard Kastendieck. In 1984, he and the President of the OSU Rodeo Association, a student named John Beall, started the tradition of the Spirit Rider. Beall used his own quarterhorse, Della, to celebrate the touchdowns scored by the OSU football team. This soon became a staple of OSU football, and in 1988, Oklahoma State University bought its own black horse. A student contest in the O'Collegian provided the name, Bullet, and ever since the tradition has remained. Bullet makes his appearance with the marching band at the beginning of each home game and after each OSU touchdown.
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