The Broncho Coin
The Broncho Coin symbolizes the proud heritage and tradition of excellence and service at the University of Central Oklahoma. The University seal is displayed on the front side of the coin, representing the path of all who have built the great institution that welcomes new students today. The reverse side of the coin, forged with the message “Learning, Leading, Serving” – builds on University traditions – and sets the stage for the next chapter of the student’s future.
This coin is bestowed upon students as they begin their academic career. As students journey towards graduation – they are invited to pass The Broncho Coin along to a faculty member, staff member, or mentor – who impacts their life for the good as they progress through Central’s halls.
During commencement ceremonies and inauguration activities, the University of Central Oklahoma president is bestowed with a ceremonial mace. The mace, which was used as a weapon until the 13th century, has transformed into a beautiful symbol of authority. The UCO Mace was developed in 1975 by Art Professor Hall Duncan, Ph.D., art students and faculty members such as Industrial Arts Professor John Bowen, now deceased. The UCO Mace used for President Betz’s inauguration is a solid 10 pounds of wood with many metal decorations. The UCO Mace is a symbol of “carrying” the traditions of the university from one time to another. It also has silver and bronze embellishments, a model of Old North Tower, and it is open at the top to allow “fresh thought”.
The UCO Medallion is passed on to each incoming university president during the inauguration ceremonies. The medallion symbolizes the weight of responsibility that is placed on the president’s shoulders. The chain has curved metal banners with names of recent UCO presidents, and the medallion itself has a list of the first fifteen on the backside. On the front is the official UCO Coat of Arms containing the lamp of wisdom, the keys to knowledge, the winged wheels of progress, and a sun rising over a book of knowledge.
Order of the Clock Tower
The Order of the Clock Tower is awarded to individuals who have been dedicated to higher education and Central itself. The honor was created by current UCO President Don Betz during his first year in office, and it is named after Old North, the first building built dedicated to higher education in 1892-93.
Beginning early in the 1900s, college men used to take the girl they were courting to Lover’s Rock. Most times, the boys would take their knives and carve their name along with the name of the lady of their fancy into the red dirt of the rock. In 1969, the UCO newsletter of the time, Central State College Newsletter, conducted interviews with couples from 1907 who would attend Lover’s Rock. It was discovered that the rock was located just south of campus at what is now called Fink Park and was a favorite place for people to roast hotdogs and socialize.
Mitchell Hall Ghost
Since the 1970s, music theater students and faculty members have said to have experienced peculiar activity in Mitchell Hall Theater. The story is that a tormented soul of a maintenance worker named Thornton fell off of the balcony about fifty years ago during a show, and he still haunts the theater to this day. Drama and music students have told of props moving, doors closing, and lights flickering with no explanation.
UCO Coat of Arms
The University seal encompasses the UCO Coat of Arms, adopted during Central’s 75th anniversary. The four key elements of the seal include the lamp of wisdom, the keys to knowledge, the winged wheels of progress, and the rising sun over a book of knowledge. This last symbol recognizes UCO as being the first institution of higher education to begin classes in Oklahoma. The Latin phrase on the seal, “Ubi Motus Est”, translates to, “Where the Movement is”.
The University of Central Oklahoma’s official rival is Northeastern State University, located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Their mascot is Rowdy the RiverHawk.
The ‘H’ in Broncho
The not-so-modern spelling of UCO’s mascot, the Bronchos, was originated in 1922 under the supervision of President Mitchell. The head football coach at the time, Coach Wantland, created a Letterman’s Club for Central athletes and needed a new name. The club offered honorary membership to the person who thought of the most appropriate name. Mrs. Wantland, the wife of the coach, chose Bronchos with the ’H’, which was the common spelling of the time. She remains the only female member of the Letterman’s Club. UCO has continued to embrace the ‘H’ in Bronchos as the traditional spelling.
History of School Name
Territorial Normal School of Oklahoma 1890-1903
Central State Normal School 1904-1918
Central State Teacher’s College 1919-1938
Central State College 1939-1970
Central State University 1971-1991
University of Central Oklahoma 1991-present
The school colors for UCO were chosen by President Edmund Dandridge Murdaugh in 1895 and marked Central as the first institution of higher education to adopt colors. Bronze symbolizes the burnished sun, the gentle light of intelligence. Blue symbolizes the color of heaven’s broad expanse, suggestive of depth, aspiration, hope, and ideals.
“Cross the plains, converging westward, seeking hope a new.
Settling here to found our college, strength and hope pursue.
Come for learning, come for growing, Central is our view.
UCO, our Alma Mater, honor Bronze and Blue.”
The UCO Fight Song was written in 1934 by John J. Gecks, director of the UCO band from 1932-1933.
“Fight boys, fight for UCO! Fight boys, fight today.
Fight for the team, boys. All full of steam, boys.
Hear our cheers for you: Go! Bronchos!
Fight, boys, fight for the Bronze and the Blue;
Fight, boys, fight today. Add one more victory to our team’s history.
Old North Tower is the icon of the University of Central Oklahoma and was the first building in higher education in the state of Oklahoma, beginning as a teacher’s college. The tower originally opened for classes is 1893. In 1911-1912, Old North was falling apart. With the collaboration of Central students and the state capitol, Edmonites were able to fund the repairing of the tower and the addition of a real clock and chimes – as opposed to the original white board with a painted-on clock. In 2011, Old North was restored again and still remains the state’s symbol for higher learning.
Each winter, the greater Oklahoma City community is invited to Central to experience a holiday wonderland. The night begins with the lighting of Old North and continues into the Nigh University Center where there are dozens of activities and workshops ran by UCO student volunteers. WinterGlow was initiated in 1997 by President Roger Webb to promote an emphasis on the importance of community and tradition.
“Throw your hooves up!”
This slogan was developed to chant at sporting events, pep rallies, and other UCO spirited activities to honor our mascot, the Broncho.
The traditional homecoming parade that precedes the football game did not begin with the opening of the school. In the early 1900s, there were reunions and receptions held in Old North for alumni once a year. It was not until 1917 that the first article featuring “Homecoming Day” appeared in the Vista focusing on a football game and reception, and it was not until 1926 that an actual parade was mentioned. In November of that year, the Vista described a parade of floats that would take place after the football game. It has been an annual tradition of school spirit and competition ever since.
Touching the Bell
Beginning in the spring of 2008, each UCO graduate touches the original bell that used to call students to class at the Territorial Normal School. The bell will bring good luck to those who honor it on the way to yearly commencement ceremonies. It is located in the Gerald “Cowboy” Barnett Bell Plaza on the north side of Plunkett Park and just east of Evan’s Hall.
Buddy Broncho first appeared in the Vista on October 3, 1932 as a broncho horse wearing a UCO football uniform. He has appeared numerous times throughout the years from local Edmond papers in the 1960s to state-wide papers in the 1980s. The commissioning of the first ever live mascot appears in the UCO’s 1979 Bronze Book where Buddy Broncho made his first public appearance at Homecoming. Since that time, Buddy has been a fixture at UCO events and in the hearts of Central students and alumna.
During the commencement ceremonies, each of UCO’s five undergraduate colleges awards a student the title of Class marshal. These five students have the highest grade-point averages and a number of Central credit hours in their respective colleges. Each honoree receives a Class Marshal stole, signifying the highest degree of academic excellence. First presented in 1994, the stoles have become a UCO tradition, now accompanied by a bronze Class Marshal graduation gown.
UCO Unique Facts
- First institution of higher education in Oklahoma since 1890
- First class held in Methodist Church on 19 North Broadway Edmond, Oklahoma
- Broncho Lake was originally the football field
- UCO has five degrees that are not offered at any other college in Oklahoma