UNCG Traditions

The University Seal: The seal featuring the head of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, was first seen in 1894 on a State Normal and Industrial School diploma. The current seal was created in 1963 when Woman’s College became UNCG.

The University Mace: The mace is borne by the Faculty Marshal at official University events and was first carried at commencement in 1978. It is a ceremonial insignia from a tradition that dates back to medieval times. It was presented in 1976 as a fiftieth anniversary commemoration by and for the Class of 1926.

Class Colors: Historically, classes had colors that rotated red, lavender, blue and green every four years. When class governments were abolished in 1970, this tradition became less notable.  However, these colors are still used by the Alumni Association on special occasions.

Motto: “Service.” This motto was adopted by the Alumnae Association in 1893.

School Flower: The daisy was chosen as the school flower by the Class of 1893. School Colors: The original school colors were gold and white representing the school flower. Navy was added in 1987.

The Rock: Brought to UNCG’s campus by Alpha Phi Omega in 1973, this quarry rock serves as a campus message board. It is located near the dining hall and Clock Tower. There is an unwritten rule that a message must remain on the rock for at least twenty-four hours before it can be painted over.

Class Rings: In 1935 a student ring committee standardized the class ring. The UNCG ring is traditional and unique to the institution with its characteristic University Seal etched in a flat black onyx. Students are eligible to purchase a ring when they achieve junior class status.

Spartans: In the fall of 1967, the UNCG athletic nickname became the “Spartans.” The coaching staff and students chose the name, in part, because it suggested a sense of courage.

University Bell: The University Bell first sounded the opening of the State Normal and Industrial School in October 1892. For forty years, it rang to mark significant occasions, including a fire in the old Brick Dorm. It was replaced by electric bells in 1938 and was stored until 1953 when it was mounted at the corner of College Avenue and Spring Garden Street by the Class of 1923. In 1967, the student body financed a permanent arch and landscaping for the bell which is now known as Anniversary Plaza. The bell was taken from this spot for restoration in 1987 and was mounted on a rolling frame. It is used for University celebrations such as commencement. The Vacc Bell Tower now occupies the space that formerly housed the arch.

University Flag: The University Flag bears the University colors and features the University seal. It was designed and introduced for the installation of Chancellor Patricia Sullivan in 1995.


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