History and Traditions

UCA Alma Mater – 1923 – Miss Ora Blackmun, a member of the English Department wrote the words to the Alma Mater.

From the hills and from the lowlands,
Comes the song of praise anew;
Sung by thousands of our children,
Alma Mater we sing to you.
(Break it down)
Then we’ll unfurl our colors the Purple and the Gray
And in the breezes see them ever proudly sway;
They lead us upward, they lead us onward,
They lead us to victory (Go Bears!).
Then let us gather round with loyal hearts and true,
Our Alma Mater’s call OBEY;
Our dear old colors will live forever,
The Royal PURPLE and the GRAY.

UCA Fight Song – 1970’s – Homer Brown, director of the UCA Band, chose the trio to Purple Pageant March as our fight song.  The previous fight song was the Eyes of Teachers.  The Eyes of Teachers was adopted when we were Arkansas State Teachers College. The Eyes of Teachers and the Eyes of Texas are the same tune.

Go-Go-Fight Bears
You will lead us on to victory
Hey, go-go-win team
Bears will charge the field and never yield
We’ve got the spir-it, and we’ll show our colors
Here tonight-so let’s cheer
The Purple and the Gray Team
Mighty BEARS will win the FIGHT (Go Bears!)

UCA Colors – The colors for UCA were decided the first year and according to an article in the November 24th, 1908 edition of the Log Cabin Democrat, were said to be purple and silver. President Doyne assigned the task of developing school colors to W.O. Wilson and Ida Waldran in 1908. Wilson was wearing a gray sweater and Waldran was wearing a purple scarf. They chose the colors based upon the color of the clothing they were wearing that day. Both Wilson and Waldran thought that purple and gray complemented each other. Today the official colors for all UCA sports teams are purple and gray.

UCA Mascot – It wasn’t until 1920 that the UCA athletic teams had a mascot.  According to Dr. Ted Worley, author of A History of The Arkansas State Teachers College, the UCA teams from 1908-1919 were referred to by many names, including: Tutors, Teachers, Pedagogues, Pea-Pickers and Normalites.  In 1920 the Bears became the mascot for the teams.  However, it wasn’t until April 7, 1921 that the teams were called “Bears” in print.  Dr. Worley also quoted sources as saying the Bear was an appropriate symbol for the school because Arkansas’ nickname was the “Bear State.” The women’s teams were known as the Bearettes for several years. The name of Sugar Bear came later. Victor E. Bear came about in 1999 and Victoria E. Bear came soon after. Bruce D. Bear became the newest addition to the UCA family in 2006

Main Hall – is the oldest building on campus. This building was completed in 1919 and was built by George Donaghey, the man for whom Donaghey Avenue is named and a former governor of the State of Arkansas.  After the building was built it served a dual role as the administration building and as a classroom building.  It continued to serve as the administration building until the 1960’s.

World War II Marker – UCA’s World War II Memorial was dedicated in October 2003.  The memorial contains the names and branch of service of forty-six UCA Alumni who were killed during World War II. The memorial is a permanent reminder of those UCA Alumni who gave their lives fighting for their country.

Legacy Walk-The Senior Walk is located in the courtyard in front of the Student Center. Each year, graduates will have the opportunity to purchase bricks as part of their class year. For $100, you can purchase a brick that will be inscribed with your name or the name of a graduate that you want to honor.