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FriSep 1

College Colors Day – September 1, 2023

Across the United States students, parents, family, faculty, fans, and alumni celebrate College Colors Day every year on the Friday before Labor Day. This year, it takes place on September 1. By rocking your college colors and apparel, you show spirit and school pride.

When you go to a college game and you look out all over the stands and on the field with cheerleaders, athletes, faculty, and friends all sporting the school colors, it’s hard to be nonchalant because it all just looks. so. cool! 

So, whether you’re still in school or those college days are long behind you,  just for today — put on those old college t-shirts or watch your favorite college football game. True colors and spirit run deep

History of College Colors Day

School colors are more than just accessories when it comes to universities. They are an extension of a school’s identity and for many people to their own identity or symbol of pride. Many schools choose their colors with a significant amount of care. Whether you were in the creative arts, sports, or financing, it’s likely you have a special connection to your school’s colors. 

Founded by the College Licensing Company in 2004, College Colors Day, fans get to rep the apparel of their favorite college or university throughout the day. Who is the CLC you might ask? They are the licensing division for over 200 colleges in the United States. Famous for developing brand licensing and building the massive fan-base behind the University of Alabama with Bear Bryant in 1981, the CLC is largely responsible for providing the college branded merchandise we value so much today. From Boston College to Stanford University you can thank them for your koozies, your jerseys, and your branded hats because it’s likely they licensed them!

Over the last few years, the CLC has seen a huge increase in sales, more than expected from the influx of students getting degrees. Recently we’ve even seen celebrities sporting the attire of a university they most-certainly never attended. This shows that there is a nostalgic factor associated with fashion that goes even beyond personal attachments. College apparel has gone from an elitist group of exclusively students and alumni to a badge of honor to a place you are loyal to. Which is largely the point of the holiday, finding pride in your “home” and a community in loyalty. 

College Colors Day timeline

1636
Where it all Began

Harvard University is established as one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the U.S.

1902
The Rose Bowl

The first College Bowl takes place following the Rose Parade in California.

1981
The Crimson Tide Sign a Deal

CLC signs its first licensing agreement with Bear Bryant.

1986
The Blue Field

In an act of sheer devotion, Boise State University installs “The Blue,” making it the first non-green stadium field.

2004
All Colored Up

The first College Colors Day takes place, encouraging students from schools of all sizes to show off their colors.

College Colors Day FAQs

Do any colleges have pink as a color?

Both Penn State and Syracuse originally incorporated pink in their color scheme however have since changed it.

What do school colors mean?

School colors are the colors chosen by a school to represent it on uniforms and other items of identification.

What are the most common college colors?

The most common color combination for universities is red and white.

College Colors Day Activities

  1. Take a #famphoto, #selfie, or #squadphoto to show off that college spirit

    Show your ultimate college spirit by sporting your favorite team's colors with your friends. Nothing says "GO TEAM!" like a selfie with your squad decked out in your alma mater colors (don't forget to use the hashtag #CollegeColors!)

  2. Attend or watch your favorite college football game

    College campuses on game day are one of the most energetic places to be — walking around, you'd think everyone just won the lottery! Celebrate the best college way possible: tailgating and watching the football game with friends. There's no better all-encompassing college experience like game day.

  3. Organize a night out with your college friends

    Not only is college a place for sports, traditions, and fun, it's also a place to build lifelong friendships. To show your school loyalty, organize a get-together with your favorite college buddies. Reminisce about those glory days, relive those traditions, and show how the college spirit lives in each one of you.

5 FUN FACTS ABOUT COLLEGE COLORS

  1. Arkansas

    University of Arkansas’ students voted on their school colors in 1895.

  2. University of Florida

    UF adopted its two colors as an homage to the two schools that merged together to form UF: University of Florida at Lake City (blue) and East Florida Seminary (orange and black).

  3. Vanderbilt

    It’s said that Vanderbilt’s family chose the colors to represent his success in the coal industry (black) and his fortune (gold).

  4. University of Miami

    For UM, the orange symbolizes the fruit of the tree, green represents the leaves and white, the blossoms.

  5. Tennessee

    In 1889, a cluster of orange and white daisies was found growing on the grounds. Athletics association president Charles Moore liked the colors and adopted them as UT’s official colors.

WHY WE LOVE COLLEGE COLORS DAY

  1. #Sports

    Coinciding with "back to school" and the kick-off of intercollegiate sports, College Colors Day gets us in that exciting, crazy-about-sports, college mindset. Even if your school years are behind you, wearing your colors makes you feel like a college senior again!

  2. Camaraderie

    Rallying behind a team creates a cohesive environment where we feel accepted and included among a larger population. It elicits positivity and keeps us connected for a common cause with a "we're all in this together" mentality.

  3. It keeps tradition alive

    College colors, especially on game day, are symbols of traditions, history, rivalry, joy, fun, and even bitterness. There's something great and powerful in participating in something that's been around for decades and showing it off.

College Colors Day dates

YearDateDay
2022September 2Friday
2023September 1Friday
2024August 30Friday
2025August 29Friday
2026September 4Friday
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