Background behind Loyola’s sports team nickname, mascot, colors and seal

Most Loyola students are proud to wear brown and gold and cheer on Loyola sports teams, but they may not know much about the history of the university or its first mascot, Bo Rambler, a homeless man.

Loyola’s mascot and the sports team‘s nickname have evolved twice over the years, but its school’s colors and seal have remained constant; mascots, team names, school colors and the seal have mostly been linked to Saint Ignatius – the founder of the Jesuits.

The Phoenix breaks down the stories behind Loyola’s mascot, school colors and seal to help students understand the context behind the components that represent their school.

Sports team nickname

Loyola sports teams were not always called the Ramblers. Over the years, the university’s sports teams have been called by different names.

Since the beginning of college sports, all sports teams have been designated by Loyola’s school colors – “brown and gold”. But in 1925, football coach Roger Kiley collaborated with Loyola News, now The Loyola Phoenix, to hold a contest to come up with a suitable nickname for the football team, according to library archive.

After the contest was held in 1925, “Grandees” – a term associated with the aristocratic Loyola family – was voted the football team’s new nickname, according to Loyola Library archivist Kathryn Young. However, over the next year the “Grandees” waned in popularity and the “Ramblers” – a nickname introduced by a journalist – gained traction due to the team’s frequent “ramblings” across the countries for football matches, according to library archive.

“I think Ramblers got it because it was more in tune,” Young said. “I think people thought the Greats might have involved an elite that wouldn’t have represented what Loyola was at the time.”

When football was discontinued at Loyola in 1930, the “Ramblers” name persisted in other sports teams to this day, according to library archive.


Loyola sports teams didn’t have a mascot to thrill the crowd at games until the 1980s. It wasn’t until 1982 that homeless “Bo Rambler” became the face of Loyola sports. Loyola, according to Young and library archive.

“I think at that time they were called Ramblers, but they had nothing to identify what a Rambler was, so I think the administration at the time considered a homeless person to be a hobo and bo was short for hobo,” said Senior Associate Athletics Director. said Tom Hitcho. “Someone who has traveled and traveled the country, so I think that was the intention and the goal at the time.”

“Bo Rambler” continued to be the mascot for eight years until the university made the decision to replace him with “LU Wolf”. Loyola did not believe it was appropriate for a homeless person to represent the university, according to library archiveand Lu was a more appropriate name due to the presence of the wolf. link with Saint Ignatius, according to library archive.

Loyola student Amber Creasey said she didn’t know a homeless person used to represent college sports teams in the past, but said she felt indifferent to this subject.

“We’re all humans and we should have the same chance to work and be happy, so it makes no difference to me who our mascot was before or after as long as he’s a mascot who spreads kindness just like the purpose of our school,” Creasey said.

Wolves are incorporated into the university’s seal to signify the compassionate characteristics of the St. Ignatius family while providing food for people and animals, according to the university. website.

school colors

Loyola’s school colors of brown and gold—colors adorned on Loyola’s home—are often worn by students, faculty, and staff to demonstrate their pride in Loyola’s sports teams.

Similar to the mascot, the university colors also come from the family of St. Ignatius. The same colors appear on the St. Ignatius family seal — “seven red bars on a field of gold,” said Loyola spokeswoman Anna Shymanski Zach.


The Loyola seal can be found in many “legal documents, proclamations and highly honorary documents”, including diplomas, certificates of Loyola website said.

The image of the seal represents the family of Saint Ignatius, who provided food for people and animals in need, according to Loyola’s website. According to Young and Loyola’s website.

The seal also features a black phoenix seated on red flames bearing two golden keys, a border of laurel leaves surrounding the image, the phrase “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” – For the greater glory of God – printed at the bottom of the seal in red and the date and name of the university in gold, among other things, the site mentioned.The representation of the phoenix is ​​inspired by the seal of Chicago and the Archdiocese of Chicago, according to Young, and represents the city overcoming the Great Chicago Fire – a barn fire in 1871 that spread to several Chicago neighborhoods and killed 300 people. The keys and leaves represent education and victory respectively, according to Young.

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