Spirit & Traditions
Bear Down Motto • ZonaZoo • Wildcat Mascots
This is Who We Are
Attending the University of Arizona is a college experience unlike any other. Feel the excitement while watching a game from ZonaZoo, believe in the rallying cry of “Bear Down!” – embrace all of the timeless traditions that come with being a Wildcat.
Why Do Wildcats Say
In 1926, John Byrd “Button” Salmon, our student body president and quarterback, was critically injured in a car crash. His last words to his coach were, “Tell them … tell the team to bear down.” Today, this simple two-word phrase is a rallying cry that embodies the spirit of our university.
Old Main’s Significance
The first building ever built on campus, Old Main once served as everything from classrooms to dorms, offices, and a library when the University of Arizona first began. At the time, the university consisted of just six faculty teaching 32 students. Today, Old Main is the heart of the University of Arizona, and it’s where you’ll find President Robbins’ office, a museum, and a wraparound porch with rocking chairs for taking in the surroundings.
Old Main Completed
8 Fun Facts About Campus
There is one gold brick on campus. It’s part of the Student Union building, on the west side of the BookStore.
The Sonoran Pentapus pavilion outside of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture building was completely student-created.
There’s an underground time capsule near Old Main. It’s scheduled to be opened by ASUA members in 2085.
The two triangle-shaped peaks on the facade of the Henry Koffler building make the building resemble a Wildcat.
Each of the 25 figurines atop the Arch of Discovery, in front of Koffler, has made a significant scientific breakthrough – and, they’re all wearing distinct socks.
Saturdays during football season are a little more rowdy at Navajo- Pinal, a dorm that’s built into Arizona Stadium.
On the edge of campus, “The Turtle Pond” – proper name: The President’s Pond – is a charming respite, located where a former university president’s home once stood.
If you roam around near the Photography building, you’ll find some secret Star Wars art: a miniature Han Solo frozen in carbonite.
Your Guide to ZonaZoo
ZonaZoo is the largest student section in the Pac-12 – and why shouldn’t it be? Football games bring out thousands of Wildcats for everything from tailgating on the mall to exciting halftime shows by the Pride of Arizona to touchdowns. At basketball games, Wildcats follow the Pep Band’s dance moves, and have created some timeless cheers – and, jeers for opposing teams.
NCAA Division 1 Sports Teams
Introducing: Wilbur and Wilma
In 1915, a live bobcat named Rufus Arizona served as the university’s first official mascot. While Rufus and his successors were flashy, Wilbur was an instant hit when he was introduced in 1959. Things got even better in 1986, when Wilbur met Wilma on a blind date and they were married on November 21. The identities of the students portraying Wilbur and Wilma are revealed at the final regular-season home basketball game of the year.
Best Annual Events
Signature things to do at the University of Arizona.
Tucson Festival of Books