Established 52 years ago, the University of Guelph has been a second home to young students since opening its doors back in 1964. Bought in 1874 from Frederick William Stone, the Ontario School of Agriculture had been used as a university and an air force training base for World War I. Since then U of G has expanded its arms and has welcomed 84 new programs divided into seven collages ranging from natural and physical sciences to social sciences and humanities.
The university has various characteristics that attract new students and give the university a distant look that sets it apart from other universities. Having been built decades ago the university’s buildings show a verity of different Romanesque styles created in limestone and have its share of ivy vines growing along the walls.
U of G is also home to many original statues that give the university and its students a sense of belonging and pride. As the cheerleaders say, U of G students bleed black, gold, and red and take pride in being Gryphons. Like in the ever so famous movie series Harry Potter, Gryffindor is the dorm hall/college at Hogwarts. Students who apply to U of G share a special bond with the Potter series whether they know it or not, they even have a quidditch team.
Unlike other universities, U of G’s mascot is no normal animal but it a hybrid mythical creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. In part, the lion symbolized strength, courage and leadership, while the eagle represents freedom, focus, and power. Together the Gryphon makes a suitable mascot for U of G as the university’s community is welcoming and accepting.
Although Guelph’s students are known to be the Guelph Gryphons, they have had many different names. When the school changed its name to the Ontario Agricultural College in 1880, the university undertook the nickname “Aggies” in reference to Guelph’s Agricultural heritage. In 1957, the college’s athletic teams decided to change the name to “Redmen,” when they joined Royal Military College and McGill. Once being officially established in 1964, that following year, the Senate decided that the University of Guelph’s official school colors would be red, black, and gold.
Prior to the official change, the colors black and red were already common for the previous colleges, and gold would now symbolize its new change. In 1966, the athletic teams, especially Guelph’s softball team, were known as the gryphons. The name spread like wild fire across campus and in 1967, U of G’s first student president of the Athletic Advisory Committee, Fred Gilbert, suggest that the school should adopt the mythical creature as its mascot. The suggestion then came to a vote and with no surprise more then half the students favored the change.
To this day, from wearing the tri-colors to winding your toy to opening the door, Guelph’s students share Gryphon pride. Each of us know that to be a gryphon one must hold on to standards that make the university a fun and safe place. Together U of G students strive on fostering their visions and supporting others in the community.