“Hail, all hail, Cornell!”

Cornell Red

Cornell’s color is carnelian or red. An 1869 article in the Era addressed the question. “What shall be the University color? Why not thebright red of the Carnelian? This precious stone... is of a very clear and beautiful tint.... Cornelian hues then for Cornell University!” ( The Cornell Era, January 30, 1869.)

In November 1925, the University Faculty resolved “that the carnelian of official Cornell colors (carnelian and white, action of 1894) ... be interpreted as an approximation of carmine as described” in Robert Ridgway’s Color Standards and Color Nomenclature (1912). In a 1982 Presidential Report to the Executive Committee, the specific color was revised so that the bright red, variously called “Cadmium Red, Medium” or “Scarlet,” found in the University flag and in the uniforms of the varsity football teams, became the official “carnelian.” Currently, Cornell Red is defined as #187 on the Pantone Matching System color chart.

Big Red

Originally, Cornell’s athletic teams were known as the “Carnelian and White.” The nickname “Big Red” originated with Big Red Team, a 1905 football song by Romeyn Berry (Class of 1904), with music by Charles E. Tourison ’06, which won the football song competition that year. By 1907, the new nickname was in general use.

Big Red Bear

The unofficial team mascot is the Big Red Bear. The first bear was a real bear cub, named Touchdown, who served as the mascot for the 1915 football team, Cornell’s first undefeated football team, designated number one in the country. As the cub grew older, however, he became mean and dangerous. This Touchdown was succeeded by Touchdown II in 1916, III in 1919, and IV in 1939. In 1949, a student in a bear suit played the Big Red Bear; the costume changed over the years. Currently, members of the Big Red Bears, a student club, perform as the mascot at Cornell events. For more on the Big Red Bear, see Cornell’s Animal Celebrities: The Cornell Bears.

Teddy bears were originally designed in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt. While not officially a Cornell bear, this early teddy bear sports an armband with the letter “C.”


The illustration accompanied an article describing Cornell and Ithaca. Jefferson F. Beardsley was an early Ithaca photographer.

Ellen Edmonson enrolled in a graduate program at Cornell in the fall of 1918, studying entomology under James Needham and Fine Arts under Olaf Brauner. In 1918-1919, she also served as an assistant in Entomology. She returned to Cornell in the fall of 1925 as a non-degree candidate, studying painting and graphic arts for a term with Professor Brauner.

This map was advertised in the Sept. 25, 1928 Cornell Daily Sun as “A map that is different! Illustrated – and How!!” The ad goes on: “Decorative – Humorous – Helpful. First Aid for Bewildered Freshmen. Shows where you live, work, play. And much more…”

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