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Campus Spirit

A group of CMU Students are fired up for a football game and posing for the camera.

Alma Mater, Hear Us Now

Written by Ruth Mavis, class of '27

Alma Mater, hear us now; evermore we praise thee.
Hear us pledge our sacred vow, ever to defend thee.
Mighty Mother, Queen of Earth eternal, precious emblem of our lives Supreme;
Ever symbolizing truth and knowledge in glorified esteem.
Alma Mater, hear us now; evermore we praise thee.
Hear us pledge our sacred vow, ever to defend thee.

CMU fight song

Written by Howdy Loomis, class of '35

FIGHT Central, down the field,
FIGHT for victory, FIGHT, fellows never yield;
We're with you, oh Varsity.
Onward with banners bold, to our colors we'll be true,
FIGHT for Maroon and Gold, Down the field for C.M.U.!

VARSITY! Rah! Rah! VICTORY! Rah! Rah!
CHIPPEWA we're proud of that nickname.
Hear our song loud and strong,
CENTRAL is going to win this game!
Come on and...(Repeat thru "C.M.U.!")

Cannon shot

At Kelly Shorts Stadium, after every CMU score, the ROTC students shoot a cannon to signify that we're winning the battle. The cannon was originally behind the stadium on the hill, but in 2001 the cannon was moved to inside the stadium.

Central Spirit

Established: 1892

To define "Central Spirit" is impossible. CMU students, however, know what it is, and all have it. Moreover, virtually anyone who meets or sees CMU students or alumni has a good sense of what it is. Central Spirit is pride in the university - the education received, campus, athletics, band, and everything that makes up CMU.

Chippewa Marching Band

Established: 1923 - by the Music Department

Exhilarating performances and renowned traditions distinguish CMU's Marching Band as one of the finest contemporary college bands in the nation. The band gained early notoriety with a 1957 performance at a Chicago Bears football game.

Chippewa nickname

Established: 1941 - Student Government

Chippewas is more than a tagline or athletics nicknameThe Chippewas name refers to a proud, honorable, and respectable people who today live throughout the United States and Canada.

Tree ceremony

On November 5, 1966, after CMU defeated Eastern Illinois 30-10 on the road in Charleston and as the band marched from the stadium to circle up near our buses, Drum Major Dave Millross had an idea. Seeing a large tree near the buses, Dave broke the band down to the single file and led the Marching Chips in a circle around that tree, whereupon CMB 44 charged it and cheered.

From that day to this, post-game celebrations back here at home have centered on a tree, beginning with a Silver Poplar off the Northeast corner of Powers Hall and continuing to the Bradford Pear we've used for the past couple of decades. Post-game tradition is forever enshrined on Marching Chips Rock, dedicated in 1969, and now placed atop Rose Hill overlooking the Stadium. It is there that we end each game day as we began it - together, whether in triumphant victory or somber reflection of defeat.​

Cymbal crash

The cymbal crash is a cheer that one may see the students doing in the stands. This started in the 1970s when one lone cymbal player crashed his cymbals back and forth. Eventually, the entire student section joined in. This is done with an up-and-down motion.

Fire Up!

You will hear this popular saying all over campus and around the world! This friendly phrase is used in greetings, cheers, and showing the CMU Chippewa enthusiasm.

Fire Up! Fest

The Student Alumni Association coordinates the Fire Up Fest, athletics, student life, and university recreation. The event is held to celebrate the start of the CMU football season. Throw a football or kick a field goal in the inflatable games area. Tour the Kelly/Shorts press box, meet the CMU football players, and see the marching band, cheerleaders, and dance team perform. The event is free and open to the public.

Graduation mace

Established: 1983
During a CMU graduation, each class is led into the ceremony by a retiring faculty member who carries the mace. In the Middle Ages, a mace was used as a weapon and later symbolized power and authority. A former student created CMU's mace in 1983. It is torch-shaped with leaf and fluted column decoration.

Hail Chippewa!

Written by Norman C. Dietz, class of '41

Hail to the Chippewa, All hail to the Chippewa!
The valiant men who wear Maroon and Gold will FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
Our honor to uphold.
Hail to the Chippewa, All hail to the Chippewa!
We salute you, warriors brave and true,
Win or lose we're proud of you!


It's the friendliest way to keep CMU spirit alive!

Hey crew

Established: 2002 - Student Government

Established by Amanda Dobbyn and Steve Latour, the Hey Crew is a group of one hundred Fired Up students! The Crew can be seen at events during Say Hey Week and are all over campus throughout the year at various campus activities.

Key play

During the football games, students will take their keys out and shake them for the entire play to show that it is a very important play.

Maroon and gold

Established: 1924

The school colors were not officially chosen until 1924, because no one had really thought to have an official school color up until that time. Things were mostly done with whatever color looked good. In 1924 the student body voted and officially made maroon and gold the colors that adorn our jerseys today.

Official seal

Established: 1892

While the seal we see today in Warriner Mall is the official seal of CMU, it has dramatically changed over the last hundred years. The only feature of the seal that has not changed is the use of three Latin words: Sapientia (wisdom), Virtus (Virtue), and Amicitia (Friendship).

Warriner bell

Although it is referred to as the Warriner bell, the proper name would be Warriner chimes because there has never been a bell there. Originally, it was a tape recording of chimes. Today, the "chime tower" has an electronic chip that is connected to speakers so that the chimes can be heard across campus.​​​​​​​​