Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

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School Colors

Fordham's School Colors

Fordham's official color was originally magenta, but magenta was also used by Fordham's archrival, Harvard University. Since it was considered improper for two schools to wear the same color, the matter was to be settled by a series of baseball games. The winning team could lay claim to magenta; the losing team would have to find a new color. Fordham won, but Harvard reneged on its promise.

Later, in 1814, at a meeting of the student body, one of the matters discussed was that of choosing an official college color that would belong to Fordham and Fordham alone.  Stephen Wall, of the class of 1875, suggested maroon, a color not widely used at the time. He stated, "I was asked what maroon was, and the only way I could explain it was that it looked something like claret wine with the sun shining through it, but I said that, if I was given time, I would produce a piece of maroon ribbon. So I was accorded the privilege and I wrote to my sister to send me a piece of maroon ribbon and velvet.  These samples came in due course and were submitted to the committee." The committee charged with determining the official college color unanimously agreed, and maroon has been the official color ever since.

(An ironic footnote: Harvard also stopped using magenta in favor of crimson.)

Reviewed August 2014

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