College Colors Day

College Colors Day - Wednesday, September 4, 2024

Special Interest Activities College Colors Social Event

Across the United States students, parents, family, faculty, fans, and alumni celebrate College Colors Day every year on the Friday before Labor Day. By rocking your college colors and apparel, you show spirit and school pride.

When you go to a college game and you look out all over the stands and on the field with cheerleaders, athletes, faculty, and friends all sporting the school colors, it’s hard to be nonchalant because it all just looks. so. cool! 

So, whether you’re still in school or those college days are long behind you,  just for today — put on those old college t-shirts or watch your favorite college football game. True colors and spirit run deep

College Colors Day is all about wearing your college team’s colors and apparel loud and proud. Show your pride for your local area and school! 

Learn about College Colors Day

College Colors Day is all about supporting your local college football team and wearing their colors with a great amount of pride. There are lots of reasons why College Colors Day is a great day to be celebrated, even if you are not a big sports fan. After all, I am sure we can all agree that college provides a great sense of togetherness and we learn a lot of life lessons along the way, as well as academic ones. A lot of people also make their friends for life at college, and so there is more to College Colors Day than meets the eye.

However, from the sports side of things, College Colors Day keeps the traditional alive. College colors are symbols of fun, joy, rivalry, history, and traditions. A lot of the different college teams have worn their colors for over 100 years, and there is something incredibly remarkable and touching about this. After all, it is a part of history! By honoring College Colors Day, you keep the tradition alive, and this is incredibly important. A lot of traditions over the years have dwindled and faded away, but we can make sure that this does not happen with college colors. 

History of College Colors Day

Founded by the College Licensing Company in 2004, College Colors Day, fans have worn the apparel of their favorite college or university throughout the day. College Colors Day is celebrated by thousands of organizations, classrooms and millions of individuals who don their team colors and share their school spirit with friends and colleagues.

In 2015, CLC (College Licensing Company) launched the College Colors Challenge. Giving fans a chance to flaunt their colors and express their school spirit. The challenges revolve around three different categories represented by the hash-tags: #SQUADPIC (large group), #FAMPHOTO (family), and #SELFIE (individual).

There is also a lot of history behind the different colors that the college football teams in America wear. You can spend hours on end reading up about this, and this is certainly one of the most interesting ways to spend College Colors Day. We will talk you through the history of the colors for some of the college teams, however, there are plenty of others out there for you to delve deeper into. Let’s start with Michigan. Their color combination is blue and maize. It may not be the most flashy combination, yet it is traditional and it is recognizable straight away. How did these colors get chosen, though? Well, in 1867, they were selected by a student group today. There was an update to the exact shades in 1912, and since then the colors have stuck. That’s over 100 years of history right there!

What about LSU? Their colors are old gold and royal purple. Interestingly, these are both colors that are associated with royalty, wisdom, and wealth. However, this is not the reason why the colors were adopted. These colors were selected in 1893 after Charles Coates, football coach of the Tigers, bought his team gold and purple ribbon in order to spruce up their uniforms, which were gray at the time.

You also have the gray and scarlet colors of Ohio State, which were also chosen by a small group of students back in 1878. In Texas, their colors are white and burnt orange. They started to wear these colors a bit later on; in the 1920s. The reason they went for these colors is quite interesting! At the time, Clyde Littlefield was a coach and he located a Chicago-based mill that could create a dye that would not fade after washing.

The Longhorns then switched to a lighter shade of orange during the Depression. However, this color did not stick around for long, Darrell Royal brought back the famous burnt orange in the early 1960s.

As you can see, there is a lot of history behind the college colors that are worn at different college football teams today, and that shows why College Colors Day is such a significant day. 

How to celebrate College Colors Day

Football is one of America’s most passionate sports. A reason why College Colors Day came about is to bring attention to intercollegiate athletics. On this day, people are encouraged to wear their favorite college or university’s colors throughout the day and to get excited. Wear your college colors. Use #CollegeColorsDay to post on social media and spread the word.

There are plenty of different ways that you can celebrate College Colors Day. You can show your ultimate team spirit by wearing your college colors. Of course, the best way to go about this is to wear a college football shirt. However, if you don’t have one, don’t let this prevent you from participating in College Colors Day. You can easily wear clothing that involves your college football team’s colors to make sure that you are still a part of the day.

Another way to celebrate College Colors Day is by attending or watching your favorite collegiate football game. You will find that college campuses are one of the most fun and energetic places to be when it is game day. Why not experience this for yourself and go to a college football game? If you are lucky, there will be one going on during this date. However, you may have to go to a game within the same week, rather than on College Colors Day itself. It all depends on the schedule, which you should be able to access online with ease. 

If you are not able to go to a game on College Colors Day, this does not mean that you cannot watch some football on the television. There are a lot of great documentaries about college football. You can discover how your favorite NFL players today made it through the college football system. You should also be able to find re-runs of some of the best college football games. 

You can also use College Colors Day as an opportunity for you to reconnect with your old college friends. After all, college is not only a place for sports, fun, and traditions, but it is also a place where a lot of us build friendships. Why not honor these friendships by organizing some form of college reunion? This is a great way to relive those traditions and reminisce about the glory days. We are sure that you will find that the college spirit still lives on in all of you. 

Or, why not get some of your friends together and play a game of football yourself? Or, if you would prefer, you can play a football video game together? There are many different ways that you can get into the football spirit on College Colors Day.

History of College Colors Day

School colors are more than just accessories when it comes to universities. They are an extension of a school’s identity and for many people to their own identity or symbol of pride. Many schools choose their colors with a significant amount of care. Whether you were in the creative arts, sports, or financing, it’s likely you have a special connection to your school’s colors. 

Founded by the College Licensing Company in 2004, College Colors Day, fans get to rep the apparel of their favorite college or university throughout the day. Who is the CLC you might ask? They are the licensing division for over 200 colleges in the United States. Famous for developing brand licensing and building the massive fan-base behind the University of Alabama with Bear Bryant in 1981, the CLC is largely responsible for providing the college branded merchandise we value so much today. From Boston College to Stanford University you can thank them for your koozies, your jerseys, and your branded hats because it’s likely they licensed them!

Over the last few years, the CLC has seen a huge increase in sales, more than expected from the influx of students getting degrees. Recently we’ve even seen celebrities sporting the attire of a university they most-certainly never attended. This shows that there is a nostalgic factor associated with fashion that goes even beyond personal attachments. College apparel has gone from an elitist group of exclusively students and alumni to a badge of honor to a place you are loyal to. Which is largely the point of the holiday, finding pride in your “home” and a community in loyalty. 

College Colors Day timeline


All Colored Up

The first College Colors Day takes place, encouraging students from schools of all sizes to show off their colors.


The Blue Field

In an act of sheer devotion, Boise State University installs “The Blue,” making it the first non-green stadium field.


The Crimson Tide Sign a Deal

CLC signs its first licensing agreement with Bear Bryant.


The Rose Bowl

The first College Bowl takes place following the Rose Parade in California.


Where it all Began

Harvard University is established as one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the U.S.

College Colors Day FAQs

Do any colleges have pink as a color?

Both Penn State and Syracuse originally incorporated pink in their color scheme however have since changed it.

What do school colors mean?

School colors are the colors chosen by a school to represent it on uniforms and other items of identification.

What are the most common college colors?

The most common color combination for universities is red and white.


  1. Arkansas

    University of Arkansas’ students voted on their school colors in 1895.

  2. University of Florida

    UF adopted its two colors as an homage to the two schools that merged together to form UF: University of Florida at Lake City (blue) and East Florida Seminary (orange and black).

  3. Vanderbilt

    It’s said that Vanderbilt’s family chose the colors to represent his success in the coal industry (black) and his fortune (gold).

  4. University of Miami

    For UM, the orange symbolizes the fruit of the tree, green represents the leaves and white, the blossoms.

  5. Tennessee

    In 1889, a cluster of orange and white daisies was found growing on the grounds. Athletics association president Charles Moore liked the colors and adopted them as UT’s official colors.

College Colors Day Activities

  1. Take a #famphoto, #selfie, or #squadphoto to show off that college spirit

    Show your ultimate college spirit by sporting your favorite team's colors with your friends. Nothing says "GO TEAM!" like a selfie with your squad decked out in your alma mater colors (don't forget to use the hashtag #CollegeColors!)

  2. Attend or watch your favorite college football game

    College campuses on game day are one of the most energetic places to be — walking around, you'd think everyone just won the lottery! Celebrate the best college way possible: tailgating and watching the football game with friends. There's no better all-encompassing college experience like game day.

  3. Organize a night out with your college friends

    Not only is college a place for sports, traditions, and fun, it's also a place to build lifelong friendships. To show your school loyalty, organize a get-together with your favorite college buddies. Reminisce about those glory days, relive those traditions, and show how the college spirit lives in each one of you.


  1. #Sports

    Coinciding with "back to school" and the kick-off of intercollegiate sports, College Colors Day gets us in that exciting, crazy-about-sports, college mindset. Even if your school years are behind you, wearing your colors makes you feel like a college senior again!

  2. Camaraderie

    Rallying behind a team creates a cohesive environment where we feel accepted and included among a larger population. It elicits positivity and keeps us connected for a common cause with a "we're all in this together" mentality.

  3. It keeps tradition alive

    College colors, especially on game day, are symbols of traditions, history, rivalry, joy, fun, and even bitterness. There's something great and powerful in participating in something that's been around for decades and showing it off.

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