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NDSU history and traditions - photo of graduation

  • NDSU School Songs

  • Music recorded by the North Dakota State University Gold Star Marching Band

    On Bison

    On Bison carry the fight,
    State is backing you.
    Green and yellow colors bright,
    To them we will be true.
    State Bison!
    Fight them right back to the goal,
    A victory for our name.
    On You Bison, Fight You Bison,
    Stampede and win this game.

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    The Yellow and The Green

    Words by A.E. Minard
    Music by C. S. Putnam


    Ho! a cheer for Green and Yellow,
    Up with Yellow and the Green;
    They're the shades that deck our prairies
    Far and wide with glorious sheen,
    Fields of waving green in springtime,
    Golden yellow in the fall-
    How the great high-arching heaven
    Looks and laughs upon it all!

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  • School Colors

    Yellow and Green          

    A faculty meeting on June 1907 officially adopted green and yellow as the NDAC colors, a tradition which continues today.


  • Bison Pride

    Bison Pride is a deep-rooted tradition. It's valuing integrity, believing in hard work, and about setting high expectations and performing at a championship level. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and fans wear green and yellow on Bison Pride Fridays to express appreciation for NDSU in all its facets.


  • Gold Star Marching Band

    The Gold Star Marching Band is also known as "The Pride of North Dakota". Student newspaper references indicate the band existed as early as 1903. The band earned it's “Gold Star” rating in 1924 when the band was an ROTC unit and earned its third consecutive 100 percent inspecting rating.


  • The "Bison" Nickname

    According to the Feb. 17, 1922, edition of The Weekly Spectrum, the Lettermen’s Club voted the week before to adopt the nickname Bison for the university’s sports teams and to discontinue the use of Aggies. The "Bison" nickname was adopted in March 1922. Bison once roamed the North Dakota prairie in vast numbers so it seemed fitting. Over the years Bison athletic teams also became known as the "Thundering Herd."


  • Homecoming

    North Dakota State University began the homecoming tradition in 1921. It has been held annually except during 1943 and 1944 because of World War II. In the first Homecoming football game, SDSC (now SDSU) beat NDAC (now NDSU) 54-0.


  • Thundar

    The roots of NDSU's mascot, Thundar, can be traced back to 1922. In late February 1922, the nickname of the NDAC collegiate teams went from the “Aggies” to the “Bison.” From the mid-1960s on, a “Bison Mascot” of some sort was being used at various athletic contest or pep rallies. It wasn't until 1991 when Thundar officially became the mascot name.


  • Interesting Historical Facts

    1890 - The institution was founded as North Dakota Agricultural College (NDAC) as the research land-grant institution for the state of North Dakota.

    1891 - The first permanent building on campus was Old Main (at the time known as College Hall). Construction of the lower levels were completed by the end of 1891 and on January 3, 1892, the institution enrolled 123 students for the term.

    1907 - Due to ill feelings, all athletic events between NDAC & the University of North Dakota (UND) are cancelled. 3 years later, in 1910, athletic events between NDAC & UND resumed.

    1957 - On Thursday, June 20, 1957, a category F5 tornado ripped through Fargo's campus. Damages exceeded $300,000 and classes were dismissed for three days.

    1960 - NDAC succeeded in a four decade struggle to change its name. It became North Dakota State University, a name that reflected the reflect the increasing field of study breadth of the institution.

    2004 - NDSU made the jump from NCAA Division II to Division I in athletics

    2009 - In August 2009 NDSU expanded it's campus to downtown Fargo. Richard H. Barry Hall opened as home to the NDSU College of Business and Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.



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