Color, Mascot, & Songs
The School Color: Purple
There are two theories of how the College of the Holy Cross chose purple as its official color. One suggests it was derived from the royal purple used by King Constantine the Great (born about 275 A.D., died in 337 AD) as displayed on his labarum (military standard) and on those of later Christian emperors of Rome.
The other version is attributed to Walter J. Connors, an 1887 graduate, and was printed in the October 1940 issue of the Alumnus. According to the account, there was a disagreement during the 1870s between Holy Cross students from Massachusetts and Connecticut concerning the schools' baseball uniform colors. Those from Massachusetts purportedly favored the crimson of Harvard, while those from Connecticut favored the deep blue of Yale. Legend has it that a fellow student with a sense of diplomacy resolved the dispute in the chemistry lab, where he mixed copper sulphate (blue) with iron oxide (red) to produce the color of deep purple.
The School Mascot: The Crusader
The name "Crusader" was first associated with Holy Cross in 1884 at an alumni banquet in Boston, where an engraved Crusader mounted on an armored horse appeared at the head of the menu.
The name was rediscovered by Stanley Woodward, a sports reporter for the Boston Herald, when he used the term "Crusader" to describe the Holy Cross baseball team in a story written in 1925. The name appealed to the Holy Cross student body, which held a vote later in that year to decide whether this cognomen or one of the other two currently in use - "Chiefs" and "Sagamores"- would be adopted. The Tomahawk of Oct. 6, 1925, reported that the results of the ballot were: Crusaders 143, Chiefs 17, Sagamores 7.
Listen to recordings of some traditional Holy Cross songs performed by the Marching Band: