Saturday, March 9, 2013

Georgetown Hoyas History

Georgetown Colors:
Georgetown's colors are blue and gray. The colors were selected in 1876 by the Georgetown College Boat Club (the original crew team) in honor of Georgetown students and alumni who wore the Union blue and Confederate gray in the Civil War. 

Soon thereafter, a banner was presented to the College by the Boat Club, sewn by the girls of the nearby Georgetown Visitation school. Half blue and half gray, it bore the inscription Ocior Auro ("Swifter Than The Wind"). The banner and its colors quickly became a part of college life. Student gatherings and formal University occasions both prominently featured the colors.

What's A Hoya:
The official explanation holds that there was a baseball team at Georgetown called the "Stonewalls". It is suggested that a student, applying Greek and Latin, dubbed the team the hoia saxa-- hoia is the Greek neuter plural for "what" or "what a", while saxa is the Latin neuter plural for "rock". Substituting a "y" for an "i"; "hoya saxa" literally means "what rocks".

To this day, however, no one has proven exactly when and under what circumstances the yell originated. While there was a Stonewalls team between 1866 and 1873, an actual reference to the team is pure speculation. Some have held that hoia saxa referred not to the team but its surroundings--the team's field (the present site of Copley Lawn) was bounded by the College Walls along 37th street. One theory holds that words such as saxa (Latin for "rocks") were scribbled on the walls for years and a similar phrase may have simply been adopted by fans of the baseball team.

Jack The Bulldog:
Georgetown's nickname is a Hoya, but its mascot is a bulldog. This bulldog is known as Jack, but many other dogs through the years have been a part of Georgetown teams.

Students maintained pet bulldogs as mascots into the early 1970's. By 1979, Georgetown was one of the first schools to employ a "human mascot", a student in the now familiar blue and gray bulldog suit. "Jack" now appears at major athletic and social events, and is among the most recognizable college mascots in the nation. (Jack is not to be confused with "Joe Hoya", which is a traditional campus expression for the everyday Georgetown student.)

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