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The Lobo Nickname
A number of legends have arisen over the years as to how The University
of New Mexico got "Lobo" as its official nickname. When the university
began playing football in 1892, the team was simply referred to as "The
University Boys" or "Varsities" to distinguish themselves from the prep
The student body, at least as early as 1917, began to seriously explore
the possibilities for both a mascot and a new name for
newspaper, which was then called simply the "U.N. M. Weekly". Several
names for the paper were suggested, including The Rattler, the Sand
Devil, the Ki-yo-te and the Cherry and Silver. However, there was no
single name that struck a responsive chord among the students and when
school opened in the Fall of 1920 the U. N. M. Weekly was still there.
On Sept. 22, 1920, sophomore George S. Bryan, editor of the U. N. M.
Weekly and student manager of the football team, was present at a
Student Council meeting for the purpose of suggesting that the
University teams be given a mascot name as at that time many
universities had mascot names for their teams. Bryan suggested Lobo, the
Spanish word for wolf, as the nickname. The name was enthusiastically
received. The Oct. 1 issue of the student paper said, "The Lobo is
respected for his cunning, feared for his prowess, and is the leader of
the pack. It is the ideal name for the Varsity boys who go forth to
battle for the glory of the school. All together now; fifteen rahs for
From that beginning, the Lobo nickname has remained with The University
of New Mexico for over 70 years.
The Lobo Mascot
After "Lobo" was adopted as the school's nickname in 1920, it was not
long thereafter that a real Lobo became the mascot.
Bruno Dieckmann, class of 1902, and by 1920 a successful Albuquerque
insurance and real estate agent, acquired the first Lobo for the
University at his own expense. At the time he was treasurer of the
Athletic Association and "one of the most admired men in town."
Elsie Ruth Chant, class of 1923, recalled, "All of the girls on campus
wanted to be seen with him. He was an accomplished concert violinist as
well as being a successful businessman, and he was rich. He drove a
Stutz Bearcat convertible around town and all of the girls would compete
to get rides with him. Sometimes he had five or six girls in the car,
and when he finally got married, he left broken hearts all over campus.
Anyway, he either caught it himself or he paid to have a wolf captured
in the Mount Taylor area. The wolf was brought into the school and a
student by the name of Bowman would take it on a leash to the football
Apparently, a government trapper named Jim Young caught a wolf pup on
the Floyd Lee Ranch near Mount Taylor in western part of the state. The
cub became the responsibility of the cheerleaders and it appeared in
harness at every football game. However, in the late 20s, a child teased
the wolf and the child was bitten at one of the games. U. N. M.
officials were forced to dispose of the wolf, as one historian put it,
"for fear other ill-bred brats might become tempted to play with the
wolf and bring a damage suit."
A live wolf has really never been a part of the athletics scene since.
In the early 1960s a human mascot named "Lobo Louie" was created. A
second mascot, Lobo Lucy" was created in the early 1980s. Both are now
members of the school's cheerleading squad.
Cherry and Silver
The most common origin of New Mexico's school colors dates back nearly
100 years. Apparently, the school colors in the early 1890s were black
and gold. Ms. Harriet Jenness, a faculty member who taught drawing,
delsarte (drama), penmanship and music, suggested a change in school
colors because black and gold did not give a true feeling of New Mexico.
She suggested the crimson evening glow of the majestic Sandia mountains
to the east. The silver came from when students and faculty took picnics
in the Sandias and noted the Rio Grande looked like a silver ribbon
winding through the valley below. Her ideas were enthusiastically
adopted by the faculty and staff. The crimson was later changed to
cherry, the color of a Sandia sunset. Miss Jenness died in 1895, two
years before the colors were adopted as "official."
From 1973-79, turquoise was integrated into the official school colors,
at least, for the athletics teams. The football team wore turquoise
jerseys at home during those years. Cherry and silver returned as the
predominant colors in 1980.
The Alma Mater
The Alma Mater (in Latin means "Nourishing" or "Dear Mother") was a
source of contention at U. N. M. in 1947. The original Alma Mater was
set to the tune of "Annie Lyle," which was an unpopular hymn with the
student body for a long period of time.
The student body voted in a general election to change the Alma Mater
and found Glee Club Director Craig Summers to oblige. Actually Mr.
Summers and his father wrote the present Alma Mater three years before
and called it "The New Mexico Hymn."
New Mexico, New Mexico
We sing to honor thee.
This golden haze of college days
Will live in memory.
This praise we sing will ever ring
With truth and loyalty
New Mexico, your fame we know
Will last eternally.
The U. N. M. Fight Song
The U. N. M. fight Song was written in 1930. The music to the Fight Song
was written by Dean Lena Clauve, who served the University for 32 years
as a professor of music education and as the Dean of Women. Dr. George
St. Clair, professor in the English Department, wrote the lyrics.
Hail to thee, New Mexico, The loyal sons are we.
Marching down the field we go, Fighting for thee.
RAH! RAH! RAH!
Now we pledge our faith to thee, Never shall we fail.
Fighting ever, yielding never.
HAIL! HAIL! HAIL!