On Sunday, March 26th the University of Wyoming Alumni Association will celebrate our 122nd Anniversary. Each year our anniversary gives us a reason to reflect on our proud history. Only four years after the first graduation class of fourteen students in 1891, alumni recognized the importance and necessity of engaging the growing alumni base in order to enrich the graduate experience and connection to the university. The UWAA formed 1895, when alumni met with the Misses Johnson on Friday evening, March 26, 1895. There were eight alumni in attendance. On April 15, 1895 the first official constitution and bylaws were adopted to “promote the University interests and the affiliation of its graduates.” The leadership wasted no time in generating interest and enthusiasm for the Association by holding an annual meeting and banquet in the Ladies’ Study Hall on June 20, 1895. Thanks to the initiative and foresight of these alums, the UWAA was launched and our mission remains the same as established 122 years ago: To promote the excellence, distinction and uniqueness of the University of Wyoming to the people of the state, the nation, and the world and to foster a spirit of loyalty and community among its alumni, students, and friends today, tomorrow, and forever.
While the first meeting was significant for the UW Alumni Association, the story behind the colors of the University of Wyoming originated at this first meeting on June 20, 1895 as well. It was at this event that the school colors were inadvertently chosen. Funds were unavailable for decorations, so two banquet organizers traveled to Laramie Springs to look for native flowers. They came back with a buggy full of Brown-Eyed Susans. The alumni were so impressed with the brown and yellow and the beauty of the flowers that they decided to select these as UW’s official school colors. Today, faithful Wyoming alumni and fans wear these colors as they support the Pokes’ sports teams, attend UW events or just wear them on any day of the year to show their pride in the Brown and Gold.
As the Association and the University push forward in ever changing times, there continues to be one constant; you the alumni and friend to UW. We greatly appreciate the support you provide today, and look forward to finding new ways to collaborate to grow pride and passion among our fellow alumni. In that endeavor, your University of Wyoming Alumni Association will continue to play an essential role in engaging our graduates and friends, and advancing the University’s goals and land grant mission of teaching, research, and public service.
As always…Go Pokes
Doug Mader B.S. '98