USF Traditions

The University of South Florida is a young university, yet students, faculty and alumni have already established traditions and celebrations that are now becoming a part of USF culture. Here are just some of those traditions that have taken root.

USF Official Logo and Colors

USF established a new visual identity in May 2003 with the launch of a fresh new logo and brand identity. A team of USF graphic designers developed 20 different logo ideas, and more than 300 faculty, staff and students participated to offer input and feedback.

The new logo has a strong and sophisticated look and feel and portrays the university's aspirations toward becoming a nationally prominent Research 1 University. The new green and gold color scheme uses a slightly darker green and shifts from the yellow to a more golden hue. This classic design style is bold and crisp, and more versatile for a variety of needs and uses. David Fink, along with colleagues from USF's University Relations graphic design team, developed the logo design.

The USF Seal

The seal has been in usage since the first USF catalog in 1959. Since 1988, the seal has been reserved for use on diplomas, academic certificates and other legal documents.

Each element of the USF seal has special meaning. The sun represents life to all living things. The lamp symbolizes learning. The globe signifies the universal expansiveness of educational opportunity and challenge. President Allen's own cornerstone for the University was, and is, truth and wisdom. Mrs. Grace Allen, wife of the late founding president, said green and gold were selected as the school colors because they were "workable" and no other university in Florida had adopted them as official colors.

USF Mace

In 1998, the University's Faculty Senate requested the creation of a mace, a ceremonial staff used by many institutions of higher learning to show the right of academic institutions to grant degrees to graduates. USF's mace includes a gold pine cone at its top to represent growth and continuity. Eight silver semicircles, which support the pine cone, represent the eight colleges in existence at USF when the mace was commissioned. The mace is used for all USF commencement ceremonies and during the installation of University presidents.

The Stampeding Herd of Thunder

USF's Marching Band, the Herd of Thunder (HOT), first took to the field at the football season home opener against Southwest Texas State on September 11, 1999. Their unique entrance to the field began as a running “stampede” that day and the tradition has continued ever since.


USF has held a campus Homecoming since 1964. Early Homecomings were scheduled around basketball games. Since 1997, USF Homecomings have been scheduled during football season and are called “SuperBull,” followed by the numeric succession since 1997. The USF campus comes alive each fall during Homecoming week with traditional student and alumni activities.

The Celebration of Scoring!

There is nothing more exciting than to see the USF Bulls football team score! When they do, the USF crowd witnesses the USF Cheerleaders acknowledge the feat. One Cheerleader does one pushup for every point atop an elevated board held up by the other cheerleaders. The USF Sun Dolls do concurrent kicks - one kick for each point.

“Go Bulls” Hand Symbol

The bullhorns created from the fingers on your hand create a powerful symbol that silently screams: “Go Bulls!” First started as a good luck symbol for basketball free-throw shots, the “Go Bulls!” The hand symbol is now used as the premier USF cheering and greeting symbol.

Green and Gold Guys

The Green and Gold Guys and their painted bodies first appeared in 2000 as a crazy spirit idea of two freshman students. The Green and Gold guys are at all home football and basketball games and even make road game appearances. In 2003 a second painted group of students, calling themselves The Beef Studs, also took to USF spirit duty.

Chinsegut Hill

Chinsegut Hill and the manor house are USF's oldest properties and first buildings. Located just north of Brooksville in Hernando County, Florida, Chinsegut Hill has been used for years as a retreat and conference facility. Originally settled in 1842, Chinsegut Hill was first the plantation of Colonel Raymond Robins. The Inuit word “chinsegut” means “the place where lost things are found.” In 2003, Chinsegut Hill was identified as a Historical Landmark by the State of Florida.

Retired Athletic Jerseys

USF Athletics began retiring athletic jerseys for outstanding former athletes on February 14, 1987, with the retiring of basketball jersey #30, worn by basketball forward Charlie Bradley from 1981-1985. USF jerseys have been retired in men's basketball, baseball, and women's basketball. College athletic jerseys are retired upon recommendation from a coach and are considered a rare occurrence.

USF Bulls Market

A decades old tradition, the USF Market's original venue was in the mall behind the University Center, which was eventually renamed as the Phyllis P. Marshall Center. While the Marshall Center was under renovation, the market moved to the walkway between Cooper Hall and the Sun Dome, but now it's back where it belongs, in the beautiful new MLK Plaza behind the new Marshall Student Center. Every Wednesday during the Fall and Spring terms, the market fills with students, staff and faculty eager to find a bargain, eat lunch and catch up with friends and colleagues.

For more USF Traditions, pick up a copy of the USF Alumni Association's Book of Bull at the Gibbons Alumni Center at the USF Tampa campus.