USF Traditions

The University of South Florida is a young university brimming with innovation, powered by ambitious students, leading faculty and engaged alumni. Several traditions and celebrations have already established themselves and are now part of USF culture. Scroll on, Bulls!

Get the Mobile App


Book of Bull

The Book of Bull is the official guide for USF Bulls. It contains everything you need to know about the traditions of the University of South Florida. You’ll learn what it means to be a Bull, more about USF’s history, spirit, academics, annual events and alumni. The spirit of USF lives within every student – past, present and future – and with these traditions as a guide, the University and its graduates will enjoy growth and prosperity for generations to come.



Bull U

Official USF Colors

USF has used its current green and gold colors since May 2003. Before this date, the green was slightly lighter, and the gold appeared more yellow.

USF Seal

The USF Seal

The seal has been in use since the first USF catalog in 1959. Since 1988, the seal has been reserved for use on diplomas, academic certificates and other legal documents.Each element of the USF seal has special meaning. The sun represents life to all living things. The lamp symbolizes learning. The globe signifies the universal expansiveness of educational opportunity and challenge. President Allen's own cornerstone for the University was, and is, truth and wisdom. Mrs. Grace Allen, wife of the late founding president, said green and gold were selected as the school colors because they were "workable" and no other university in Florida had adopted them as official colors.

USF Mace

USF Mace

In 1998, the University's Faculty Senate requested the creation of a mace, a ceremonial staff used by many institutions of higher learning to show the right of academic institutions to grant degrees to graduates. USF's mace includes a gold pine cone to represent growth and continuity. Eight silver semicircles, which support the pine cone, represent the eight colleges in existence at USF when the mace was commissioned. The mace is used for all USF commencement ceremonies and during the installation of University presidents.

Herd of Thunder

The Stampeding Herd of Thunder

USF's Marching Band, the Herd of Thunder (HOT), first took to the field at the football season home opener against Southwest Texas State on Sept. 11, 1999. Their unique entrance to the field began as a running “stampede” that day, and the tradition has continued ever since.



USF has held a campus Homecoming since 1964. Early Homecomings were scheduled around basketball games. Since 1997, USF Homecomings have been scheduled during football season and are called “SuperBull,” followed by the numeric succession. USF comes alive each fall during Homecoming week with traditional alumni and student activities.


The Celebration of Scoring!

Nothing is more exciting than seeing the USF Bulls football team score! When they do, the USF crowd witnesses the USF Cheerleaders acknowledge the feat. One Cheerleader does one pushup for every point atop an elevated board held up by the other cheerleaders. The USF Sun Dolls do concurrent kicks - one kick for each point.

Go Bulls

“Go Bulls” Hand Symbol

The bullhorns created from the fingers on your hand create a powerful symbol that silently screams: “Go Bulls!” First started as a good luck symbol for basketball free-throw shots, the “Go Bulls!” The hand symbol is now used as the premier USF cheering and greeting symbol.

Beef Studs

Green and Gold Guys

The Green and Gold Guys and their painted bodies first appeared in 1999 as a crazy spirit idea of two freshman students. The Green and Gold guys are at all home football and basketball games and even make road game appearances. In 2002 a second painted group of students called "The Beef Studs" emerged. Today the Beef Studs and Beef Babes are a staple at all home football and basketball games.

Chinsegut Hill

Chinsegut Hill

Chinsegut Hill and the manor house are USF's oldest properties and first buildings. Located just north of Brooksville in Hernando County, Florida, Chinsegut Hill has been used for years as a retreat and conference facility. Originally settled in 1842, Chinsegut Hill was first the plantation of Colonel Raymond Robins. The Inuit word “chinsegut” means “the place where lost things are found.” In 2003, Chinsegut Hill was identified as a Historical Landmark by the State of Florida.

Retired Jerseys

Retired Athletic Jerseys

USF Athletics began retiring athletic jerseys for outstanding former athletes on February 14, 1987, with the retiring of basketball jersey #30, worn by basketball forward Charlie Bradley from 1981-1985. USF jerseys have been retired in men's basketball, baseball, and women's basketball. College athletic jerseys are retired upon recommendation from a coach and are considered a rare occurrence.

Bull Market

USF Bull Market

A decades old tradition, the USF Market's original venue was in the mall behind the University Center, which was eventually renamed as the Phyllis P. Marshall Center. While the Marshall Center was under renovation, the market moved to the walkway between Cooper Hall and the Sun Dome, but now it's back where it belongs, in the beautiful new MLK Plaza behind the new Marshall Student Center. Every Wednesday during the Fall and Spring terms, the market fills with students, staff and faculty eager to find a bargain, eat lunch and catch up with friends and colleagues.

For more USF Traditions, pick up a copy of the USF Alumni Association's Book of Bull at the Gibbons Alumni Center at the USF Tampa campus.

USF Songs

Alma Mater

Composed by USF Professor of Music Wayne Hugoboom in 1960, the USF Alma Mater was first performed in 1961. Hugoboom won a USF song competition and received a #250 check for creating the historic lyrics and music.


Hail to thee, our Alma mater
May thy name be told,
Where above thy gleaming splendor,
Waves the green and gold
Thou our guide in quest for knowledge
Where we all are free
University of South Florida
Alma Mater, Hail to Thee!

Be our guide in truth and wisdom
As we onward go,
May thy glory, fame and honor
Never cease to grow
May our thoughts and prayers
Be with thee through eternity,
University of South Florida
Alma Mater, Hail to Thee!

USF Fight Song


USF Bulls are we,
We hold our standard upright and free.
For Green and Gold we stand united.
Our beacon lighted and noble to see.
USF Bulls are we,
For USF we'll always be.
With all our might we fight the battle
Here and now, and we will win the
(shout) S-O-U-T-H F-L-O-R-I-D-A
South Florida, South Florida
Go Bulls Go!

The Bull #8
Third down charge song


March Victorious