University of Houston Traditions
The University of Houston has many traditions, some time-honored and some relatively new. Regardless, they're all a part of what make UH the wonderful university it is.
The Official Class Ring
Tradition dictates that those who have purchased a class ring wear the ring facing inwards until they are officially alumni. Students and alumni receive their class ring at the Ring Ceremony, an event held prior to both the December and May graduations. Beginning in December 2011, the class rings spend the night before the Ring Ceremony in the Cougar exhibit at the Houston Zoo.
The first live cougar mascot arrived at UH in 1947 and was named Shasta. From 1947 until 1989, five different cougars served as the beloved mascot of the university. Since 1989, students in costume have continued the tradition as Shasta. On March 24, 2012, Shasta VI will be introduced to the public thanks to a new partnership between the University of Houston Alumni Association and the Houston Zoo.
Frontier Fiesta was founded in 1939 as a student-run festival and was dubbed "The Greatest College Show on Earth" by LIFE
magazine in 1958. After being discontinued for over 30 years, Frontier Fiesta was re-started in 1991 and continues to be a completely student-run event featuring variety shows, free live concerts, carnival booths, and a bbq cook-off.
The Cougar Hand Sign
The hand sign is made by folding the ring finger of the right hand toward the palm of the hand. It's origins date back to 1953 when Shasta I lost a toe in a cage door. University of Texas fans mocked the cougar's injury by making the hand sign and UH quickly adopted it as a symbol of pride.
Established in 1948 to promote Cougar spirit and support UH, the Frontiersmen can be easily identified by their tan dusters and cowboy hats. At UH football games, they display the Texas and UH flags while also operating The Blaze siren.
An oil field warning siren representative of UH's ties to the petroleum industry, operated by the Frontiersmen, that was chosen as a symbol for the football team
in 1991. The Blaze is named after avid UH supporter David Carl Blazek who passed away the summer before the siren arrived at the university.
At home football games, the costumed Shasta performs a push-up for each point the Cougars score after each scoring play in the game. This tradition began in 1987.
Cougar Red Friday
The UH campus community, alumni, and the city of Houston are all encouraged to wear red on Friday to show pride and passion for the university.
The Alma Mater
All hail to thee,
Our Houston University.
Our hearts fill with gladness
When we think of thee.
We’ll always adore thee
Dear old varsity.
And to thy memory cherished,
True we’ll ever be.
The Cougar Fight Song
Cougars fight for dear old U of H
For our Alma Mater cheer.
Fight for Houston University
For victory is near.
When the going gets so rough and tough
We never worry cause we got the stuff.
So fight, fight, fight for red and white
And we will go to victory.