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University Traditions

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


University sign in front of Old North.

School Colors


The school colors 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.

Students cheering at football game.

The "H" in Broncho

The history behind the spelling

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.  Central has continued to embrace the ‘H’ in Bronchos as the traditional spelling.

Alma Mater

as performed by the UCO Chamber Singers


“Cross the plains, converging westward, seeking hope anew.

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.”

UCO flags at football game

Fight Song

Fight team, fight for UCO! Fight team, fight today!

Fight for the team. All full of steam.

Hear our cheers for you: Go! Bronchos!

Fight, team, fight for the Bronze and the Blue!

Fight, team, fight today. Add one more victory to Central’s history.

U-C-O! Bronchos!

Old North

Central's most iconic building

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.

Old North Walk


Before each commencement ceremony, graduates gather around Old North to begin their "final walk" through campus. Beginning in the spring of 2008, each graduate touches the original bell that used to call students to class at the Territorial Normal School. The bell, thought to bring good luck, is located in the Gerald “Cowboy” Barnett Bell Plaza, just north of Plunkett Park. After touching the bell, graduates walk through Old North and make their way to Hamilton Fieldhouse for their commencement ceremony.


Student touching Old North bell

Buddy Broncho


Buddy Broncho first appeared in The Vista, Central's student newspaper, 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 alumni.

Buddy Broncho