Get to know CSU’s mascots

Before the notorious CAM the Ram was the mascot for CSU, there were multiple unexpected animals that represented the university. These four-legged creatures each possessed their own personality and left behind a different legacy.  

Peanuts the bulldog: 

Peanuts the English bulldog was the first known mascot of Colorado State University, previously known as Colorado Agricultural College. He began his service in 1913 and was quickly recognizable by students across campus. Peanuts found his fame by attending every home football game. He would triumphantly bark from the sidelines and then lead students onto the field for halftime parades.  

After witnessing the Aggies take home two football championships in 1915 and 1916, Peanuts traveled from Colorado to New Jersey with the Battery “A” artillery unit during World War I. He provided companionship to those he bunked with in training camps and even marched alongside the men in a New York City parade.  

When his soldiers boarded their ship and were deployed to Europe, Peanuts headed back to Colorado. However, unfortunately, Peanuts met a grim fate back on campus. In 1918, he passed away after an unknown suspect poisoned him.  

Teddy the Bear: 

The next furry creature to represent Colorado Agricultural College was Teddy the Bear, a 15-month-old black bear. Teddy began his reign directly following the death of Peanuts in 1919. The bear belonged to former member of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, Frank Miller. Just like Peanuts, Teddy could be found on the sidelines of football games and strutting his stuff in parades. He was even featured in a 1919 film that is believed to be the earliest footage of campus. 

Besides the fact that he was a domesticated black bear, Teddy was famous for his Aggie sweater that he wore to each sporting event he attended. This sweater became so well known that a group of mischievous students from CU Boulder attempted to steal it from Teddy, the Rocky Mountain Collegian reported. Luckily, this plan was thwarted by 24 valiant CSU freshmen and Teddy’s sweater remained safe.  

After a run of a little less than a year, Teddy the Bear retired as mascot. Over 100 years later, though, his legacy lives on.  

Gallant Defender: 

Flash forward 17 years to 1936 and CSU, then known as Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (A&M), met its next mascot: Gallant Defender. Gallant Defender was a white English bulldog that greatly resembled past mascot Peanuts. The Denver Kennel Club gifted the animal to CSU alumnus Glenn Morris after he won a gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.  

Similar to Gallant Defender’s predecessors, he sported a green and gold cape with a large Aggie “A” printed on it. His collar was also decorated with the words, “A Champion for a Champion.” After less than two years, the champion retired and little was mentioned of him.  

CAM the Ram:  

In 1945, the legendary CAM the Ram mascot took his post. The students deemed “Rams” as the best fit for Colorado A&M after voting on multiple animals. One year later, the first live ram mascot made his appearance at a basketball game against the University of Denver. However, the first ram was given the name “Buck,” not CAM. It was not until 1954 when CSU President William Morgan announced that the mascot would, from then on, be called CAM. The name CAM was a clever acronym of CSU’s previous title, Colorado A&M, and conveniently rhymed with “ram.”  

Today, CSU still uses CAM the Ram and the tradition of a live mascot continues. CAM now has a team of student handlers that take him to events, run across the end zone with him, and tend to his needs. The ram lives with other livestock at a secret location off campus where he is under 24-hour supervision.  

The current CAM the Ram is number 26 and has been around since 2020. Previous rams have either passed away or retired, giving another young Rambouillet sheep the chance to shine. At sporting events, CAM is accompanied by a costumed mascot to help generate excitement and school spirit among fans.