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In 1904, The Columbian University became what we today know as The George Washington University. Along with the change of name, also came the change of school colors. The University colors were changed from orange and blue to buff and blue to commemorate the colors of the uniform that George Washington wore when he resigned as Commander In Chief of the Continental Army on December 23, 1783. The name "Colonials" was the mascot name that was voted in by the student body in 1928. "Colonials" continues to be the institutional mascot of The George Washington University. Currently, The George Washington University Spirit Program is designed to involve the students, staff, and faculty in the excitement of campus life. The program comprises the co-ed cheerleading squad, the dance team, the pep band, and the famous mascots "George" and "Big George."
George - Formerly referred to as "George 1" and "Little George", George is the character mascot of George Washington. George serves as the namesake mascot of GW. George can often be found at GW athletic events, making community appearances, and visiting several on-campus events to ensure that school spirit and campus unity are continuing to grow at The George Washington University. In 2008 the new mascot "George" replaced the aging "Little George", sporting a more modern and aggressive alternative to the "old and creaky" "Little George.
Big George - Standing at 10 feet tall, this inflatable mascot can be found at all of the men's and women's basketball games, fall and spring sports, Midnight Madness, team send-offs, pep rallies, and several GW and community events.
GW was referred to as the "Buff and Blue" for many years. "George 1" became the mascot after a student vote in 1948. "Big George" was introduced in the 90's. The name "Colonials" was voted in by the student body in 1928.
Colonial Brass is the GW pep band, directed by Professor Benno Fritz. The band consists of sousaphones, trombones, trumpets, mellophones, saxophones, and drums. The band plays the fight song as well as stand tunes throughout the duration of all men's and women's home basketball games. The band is also in attendance at basketball tournaments and select away games.
In October of 1931, the Student Council at George Washington University decided to organize a student band. Ted Rinehart, a GW student and a member of the student council, chaired the committee which undertook the task of forming a marching band from scratch in time to play at least one game during the football season that fall. Today the GW Pep Band plays for both Men's and Women's Basketball games, continuing a long tradition of support and enjoyment.
Unfortunately, by 1950 the enthusiasm of the band had waned. In 1988, a small group of students organized a small pep band that played at basketball games. (Let's give credit where credit is due: Founding members included Michael Pacifico (Trumpet), Mark Ericson (Trumpet), David Aldrich (Tuba), Jay Newlin (Baritone), Mike Melichar, Pam Arlund, Glenn Harden (French Horn), Michelle Di Raffaele (Saxaphone), Jan Schuller (Conductor and Co-founding member) Karen (last name forgotten - Co-founding member, Trombone) Elizabeth Goldman, Kristi Messner (Saxaphone), Brian Wolf (Clarinet), Cathy Dubiel (Clarinet), Tony Palermo, Harold Citron (Trumpet), David Nichols (Trumpet), and Andrew Flagel (Drums) and several others whose names should be remembered as well). During the 1988-89 school year, support for a University-sponsored pep band increased, and the band was the subject of a hostile takeover by the Music Department under the leadership of Prof. Patrick Jones.
In 1990 Prof. Benno Fritz became the GW Band Director. The band has over 60 members, and they are among the most spirited fans in the stands. The Band is a part of several GW traditions, including their renditions of the GW Fight Song, and the song "Hey Baby".
The official student supporters' group of the men's basketball team is called the Colonial Army, formerly "George's Nuts." It is one of the largest student organizations on campus. The Colonial Army provides its members with gear such as yellow foam tricorner hats, and in the past had preferred seating.
The GW Cheer Team consists of 10 co-ed couples. The Cheer Team practices 4 days per week for 2 hour practice sessions. Tryouts are open to incoming freshman, transfer students, and all current GW students who are in good academic and judicial standing.
The team performs at all the men's and women's basketball games, and travels with both teams during March Madness. The GW Cheer Team is a nationally-ranked team and competes annually at the Chick-Fil-A Cheer and Dance Collegiate Championship.
In the 1930's, when GW had a successful football team, "Yea-a-a Buff! Yea-a-a Blue! G.W. come through!" was echoing across Griffith Stadium. A thousand voices filled the autumn air with "Hail to the Buff and Blue." The rooting section, led by the cheerleading squad used colored card displays at Colonial football games.
In 1941, women became cheerleaders for the first time. In 1942, Nic Lakas led the squad performing at football and basketball games and bonfire rallies. Also in 1941, a large Great Dane named Smokey became the GW mascot at football games. "George" became the mascot in 1948. In December 1966 football was discontinued at the University and basketball became the principal event for the cheerleading squad.
In 1996 the squad made its competitive debut in the Universal Cheerleaders Association national cheerleading championships, placing seventh. John Kelley served as head coach of the GW squad until 1997, when J. Michael d'Haviland (formerly Mike Wise), served as head coach, with Shawn Martin and Jill Kiah-Saslav, assisting him. Under d'Haviland's tenure, he created the "First Ladies" Dance Team.
In 2006, the GW Cheerleaders competed in the NCA National Collegiate Cheer Competition and placed 4th, gaining national ranking and recognition. The Cheer Team was then led by head coach Nicole Macchione-Early, in her sixth year as Head Coach and Spirit Program Director. She was assisted by coach Raymonte Early, in his fourth year at GW, and strength coach Will Alexander, in his first year coaching but sixth year with the Spirit Program.
In the 2006-2007 season, Scott Thomas joined the GW Cheer Team as head coach. Nicole Macchione-Early maintains her position as Spirit Program Director. Scott graduated from Slippery Rock in 2004. This is his first year being affiliated with the university.
The cheerleaders of GW have always been an integral part of sports and an asset to the campus. At games, at pep rallies and other special occasions the squad has boosted morale and encouraged University spirit.
As a co-ed cheerleading squad, the GW Cheer Team cheers at all home Men's and Women's basketball games. They are also given the opportunity to travel and cheer at designated tournaments including the Atlantic 10 conference and NCAA's. The cheerleading squad supports the achievements of all GW athletic teams, and attends various events on campus to show their spirit.
Along with the First Ladies Dance Team and the Mascot Squad, the GW Cheer squad attends camp during the summer to enhance individual skills and build team unity. The program welcomes everyone to share in the Spirit of GW!
First Ladies Dance TeamEdit
The GW Dance Team consists of 16 dancers. The Dance Team practices 4 days per week for 2 hour practice sessions. Tryouts are open to incoming freshman, transfer students, and all current GW students who are in good academic and judicial standing.
The team also attends all Men's and Women's home basketball games, and will dance during designated time outs and halftime shows. The First Ladies are a nationally ranked team and compete annually at the Chick-fil-A Cheer and Dance Collegiate Championship. The team dances jazz, pom, and hip-hop styles.
The dance team made its debut in 1998 and has had a terrific impact on the Colonial fans.
In 2006, the GW First Ladies Dance Team competed in the NDA National Collegiate Dance Competition and placed 3rd overall in Division 1 - the highest Nationals ranking in GW Spirit Program history. The Dance Team is currently led by coach Alyssa Daggett, in her second year at GW.
Every Colonial fan knows that when the GW Fight Song is played, the school tradition is to stand up, clap your hands to the beat, and sing the words. GW fans can often be seen cheering, clapping, and even throwing their arms in the air when certain lyrics are sung. Every incoming freshman is taught the words to the GW Fight Song during their Colonial Inauguration sessions. You can even hear the university bells play our Fight Song at 12:15 pm, and 6:00 pm every day in Kogan Plaza.
Hail to the Buff and Blue!
All our lives, we'll be proud to say...
We hail from GW - (GO BIG BLUE!)
Oh, by George we're happy we can say,
We're GW, here to show the way
So, Raise high the Buff! (BUFF!) Raise high the Blue! (BLUE!)
Loyal to GW!
YOU BET WE'RE Loyal to GW..........FIGHT!
<center>(rewritten by Dr. George Steiner in 1970) Hail Alma Mater
To thy spirit guiding,
Knowledge thy closest friend
In its strength abiding,
Pledge we fidelity
Ne'er its place resigning, Hail thee George Washington!
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