Skip to main content

You may be using a Web browser that does not support standards for accessibility and user interaction. Find out why you should upgrade your browser for a better experience of this and other standards-based sites...

Dartmouth Home  Search  Index

Dartmouth HomeSearchIndex

Dartmouth home page
Ask Dartmouth
Ask Dartmouth Home >  Questions by Category >  Student Life >

Student Life

Is "The Big Green" really Dartmouth's mascot? If so, where does it come from and what does it mean?

Last updated 07/25/07

The nickname for Dartmouth's athletics teams is "The Big Green," but the College has never had an official mascot. The "Big Green" nickname refers to the color green in use by Dartmouth's teams since the 1860s similar to Harvard's "Crimson," Cornell's "Big Red," and Stanford's "Cardinal" (the color, not the bird.)

Contrary to what some believe, the Indian was never Dartmouth's official mascot. The use of the Indian, in conjunction with Dartmouth's athletic teams, dated back to the 1920s. It is difficult to determine exactly why, but some Boston sportswriters and cartoonists began to refer to Dartmouth's teams as the Indians prior to the 1922 football game with Harvard. The use of the "Indian" nickname remained in use informally and unofficially until the early 1970s. In 1974, Dartmouth's Board of Trustees issued a statement calling for an end to the use of the Indian as a mascot.

There have been a number of student referenda over the years that hoped to determine a mascot; over the years, suggestions have ranged from the Timberwolves to the North Stars to the Moose. In 2003 the campus student humor magazine Jack-O-Lantern created "Keggy," an anthropomorphic beer keg that occasionally appears at sporting events. But, to date, no mascot has been officially adopted by the College.

< previous question | back to main | next question >

Dartmouth Image Gallery

Ask Dartmouth RSS feed

Last updated: 07/25/07