For National College Colors Day, a look at local college colors


Friday is National College Colors Day.

Multiple colleges and universities are located in Western New York- here’s a look at some of their signature colors.

Buffalo State College

Possibly one of the most distinguishable of local college colors is Buffalo State’s black and orange, along with cool gray and purple.

The origin of the orange and black colors is unknown, although there are references to them as far back as 1913.

Buffalo State’s VP for Student Affairs, Timothy Gordon, said that early college sports teams were known as “Orange” or “Orangemen”.

“There’s another school with a similar name,” Gordon said, referring to the Syracuse University “Orange”.

According to the Buffalo State website, the men’s basketball team adopted the nickname “The Billies” in the 1950s and the school mascot was a goat for a few years.

Other nicknames included “Teachers”, “Normals”, and “Frontiersman”.

 Buffalo State men’s basketball team adopted the nickname of the “Billies” during the 1950s, and for a few years the school’s mascot was a goat. Other shortlived nicknames included the “Teachers”, the “Normals” and the “Frontiersmen”. 

Buff State adopted its official mascot, The Bengal, in 1969, through a campus competition.

At Buffalo State sports games and other campus events, orange is featured prominently.

“One of the things we’re proud of is a ‘sea of orange’,” Gordon said. “We really do have great pride in that orange.”

Niagara University

The Catholic university only has one official college color- purple.

“When you come to campus, it’s evident,” Thomas Burns, Niagara University’s associate vice president for public, external, and government relations said. “It’s on the banners and furniture and attire worn by a lot of faculty and students- there’s no question that Niagara is purple.”

The color was originally chosen as a color of royalty or nobility for the university seal, Burns said.

“It’s linked back to the purpose of the university’s founding, of higher education and our Catholic mission,” Burns said.

The university adopted the mascot “Purple Eagles” in the 1920s.

“The university is on a plot of land called “Mount Eagle Ridge” and it used to be in an area where bald eagles would be very evident- that’s where the “Eagles” comes from,” Burns said.

Daemen College

Daemen College’s colors- blue and white- were established when the college was founded in 1947, the college said in a statement.

“The school colors were Copenhagen blue and ivory to mirror the colors of Rosary Hall College, known today as Daemen College,” the statement said.

The college transitioned to the current shades of blue and white in the 1960s, which reflect Rosary Hall’s blue roof and white shutters.

Trocaire College

The college went through a brand refresh in 2015 and 2016, Trocaire College graphic designer Julie Cioccio said.

“Our goal with our refreshed logo, including our color choice, was to convey: stability, heritage, warmth, humanity, balance and we wanted the overall feeling to be more modern, contemporary and open than our previous logo/colors,” Cioccio said.

The college opted to stay in the red family for their new colors- but shifted to a warmer red that they felt conveyed their goals.

Trocaire also changed their secondary color from mustard yellow to metallic gold and made it an accent color, and added grey as a secondary color.

Here are some other local college’s colors and mascots:

University at Buffalo

Colors: UB Blue and Hayes Hall White

Mascot: Bulls

Canisius College

Colors: Blue and gold

Mascot: Golden Griffins

D’Youville College

Colors: D’Youville Red, white

Mascot: Spartans

Erie County Community College

Colors: Red and black

Mascot: Kats

Hilbert College

Colors: Blue and gold

Mascot: Hawks


Colors: Dark blue, vivid orange, dark pastel blue

Mascot: Mavericks

Niagara County Community College

Colors: Navy blue and yellow

Mascot: Thunderwolves

Villa Maria College

Colors: Blue and white

Mascot: Vikings

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