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Spirit and Traditions

PowercatSince its founding in 1851, University of the Pacific has developed a distinguished history that includes traditions that embody what the university stands for. Our traditions serve to connect students with important aspects of campus life and help them achieve the full Pacific experience.

School Colors

In 1851, Pacific originally had a solitary school color of orange that represented the many fields of California poppies. Then during the pre-football rugby era at Pacific, the school selected rugby uniforms with orange and black stripes. The campus community liked the effect so much that Pacific chose black as its secondary color.

Tigers nickname

Pacific first adopted the tiger as its mascot in the fall of 1908. The nickname evolved because the school's rugby uniform jerseys and socks were black with orange stripes, resembling tigers. "Tigers" was used in student and local newspapers to describe all of Pacific's athletic teams and became official in 1925.

The mascot - Powercat

Pacific's tiger mascot has been a symbol of the school's athletic teams since 1914, from the graphic drawing of a ferocious, roaring tiger, the friendly "Tommy Tiger" caricature and the current tiger emblem "Powercat," unveiled in 1999. The Powercat is a dynamic and athletic personality that adds to the excitement of Pacific athletic events. more>

Weekend of Welcome (WOW)

Weekend of Welcome (WOW) is designed to give new students an opportunity to transition to Pacific, creating a bond with the University and the surrounding community.  During WOW new students will participate in a variety of activities to help prepare them for success at Pacific.  

New Student Convocation

New Student Convocation is an annual ceremony in which University leaders and faculty, dressed in academic regalia, formally welcome incoming freshmen and transfer students to the University. It takes place during Weekend of Welcome (WOW), which occurs the weekend before the start of fall semester. The entire campus community is invited to the event, which is held in Faye Spanos Concert Hall.

Tiger Roar

After the New Student Convocation ceremony, current Pacific students, faculty, alumni and staff gather outside of Faye Spanos Concert Hall to greet the new students with a Tiger Roar. Members of the campus community form two lines and roar as loud as they can as the new students walk through them. Afterward, everyone enjoys a campus barbecue where current students, faculty and staff get to know each other better.

Graffiti Rocks

Graffiti Rock Napa College merged with the University of the Pacific in 1896 and Napa Rock, also known as Senior Rock (with the seat in it), was moved to the Stockton campus in the late 1940s. Students placed another rock in front of the School of Engineering in 1962 and it was soon painted. more>

They are now known as the Graffiti Rocks. It is a Pacific custom for students to sneak out in the middle of the night and paint the two large rocks. On any given day the rocks may display Greek letters, birthday announcements, student art, or an advertisement for an on-campus event.

Lip Sync

Lip Sync is an annual event which takes place during Homecoming Weekend. It involves campus organizations that compete for "viewers' choice" and "judges' pick" awards in a lip sync-style competition. One of the most popular events of the year, Lip Sync draws huge crowds from the community. Lip Sync stems from a past tradition called Band Frolic in which various living groups - mostly the Greeks - would put together song-and-dance variety routines. The routines were often laced with cultural context and satire about campus events and contemporary news.

The Orange Army

The Orange Army Draped in orange Pacific T-shirts and face paint, The Orange Army consists of dozens of energetic students who sit in the student spirit section during University sporting events and cheer on Pacific teams. The students add excitement to the games and help keep the Pacific teams and fans energized.


Commencement, Pacific's annual graduation ceremony, is held after the end of the spring semester of each school year to honor those students who have completed the required coursework for their degree(s). During the ceremony, the University President and Provost address the students. Faculty members also participate while dressed in academic regalia. As part of the ceremony, outstanding students are recognized, distinguished public figures receive honorary degrees, and a keynote speaker addresses the graduates. Individual ceremonies for each school and college are also held. more>