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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Students bond over repping school colors

The spirit shop carries a variety of apparel with new gear made available every month, allowing students to rep clothing for every sport.
Photo by Andrew Himmelberg
The spirit shop carries a variety of apparel with new gear made available every month, allowing students to rep clothing for every sport.

Every Friday before Labor Day since 2004, IMG College Licensing marks the kickoff of college football season with “College Colors Day,” a day encouraging students and alumni alike to don their favorite spirit wear and support their school.

Knowledge of the day is bittersweet for students like Renzo Silvera, a freshman in the College of Engineering, who loves his school but doesn’t love Marquette’s football drought of nearly 60 years.

“Having a football team is critical for campus,” Silvera said, explaining that it offers “a new perspective” and an alternative for students who may not be basketball fans.

However, like many other students at Marquette, the lack of a football team did not lead to a lack of spirit wear for Silvera. Whether on the way to a big basketball game or simply running to class, students often throw on their go-to Marquette gear to get them ready for the day.

Larry Birkett, associate director of the Marquette Spirit Shop located in the Alumni Memorial Union, noted that it doesn’t take a football team to make campus’ own version of “College Colors Day.” Instead, Birkett said, events surrounding Marquette basketball games and simple school spirit seem to do the trick.

“Because we don’t have football, it’s family weekend, Homecoming … and Marquette Madness that measure up (to ‘College Colors Day’),” Birkett said. “That’s where we would find a comparable day.”

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg
While some students score free gear at events, the spirit shop sells clothing of all types to top off a fan’s wardrobe.

To prepare for these events and the start of a new school year, the spirit shop introduced a new round of sweatshirts and crewnecks in shades of yellow, like two called butter and bone. These offer a variety of tops for students like Holly Nyquist, a senior in the College of Nursing, to add to their collection.

While Nyquist opts for the free T-shirts she acquired through the years to finish off an outfit for “College Colors Day” or a big game, during the colder months, she said she “definitely wear(s) a lot of the sweatshirts from the spirit shop.”

Amanda Hodgens, a spirit shop employee and senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said styles and colors rotate about every month to keep students excited about supporting their school.

“This summer (the best-selling sweatshirt color) was butter,” Hodgens said. “But it changes every season.”

This year, students can look forward to new winter hats, tank tops and raincoats, both in classic Marquette gold and blue as well as new takes on the traditional shades. The spirit shop is also featuring a Champion reverse weave for Champion’s 80th anniversary. 

While you won’t find any football apparel in the Marquette Spirit Shop, students can start getting excited for Marquette athletics by stopping in for their new lacrosse spirit wear and looking forward to basketball apparel that will come in September.

And Maddy Rockhold, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said it’s the basketball gear that indeed keeps the shelves of the Marquette spirit shop stocked.

“Marquette basketball is something that gets a lot of people excited about the school,” Rockhold said.

Unlike many students who prefer sweatshirts, crewnecks and Marquette basketball apparel, Rockhold personally thinks the spirit shop’s socks and hats are the way to go. But besides seeing someone else donning one of the accessories she likes, when it comes to her favorite way to show Marquette pride, Rockhold said, “I love seeing someone else in a Marquette T-shirt and … bonding over that,” noting that Marquette spirit wear brings Golden Eagles together far beyond Milwaukee.

Though no longer a football school, Marquette is still painted blue and gold daily as students walk through campus in their spirit wear. While at times students can feel the lack of a football team, they note no lack of school spirit.

Though Marquette may not be able to participate in “College Colors Day” in the traditional way, students can still throw on their trusty Marquette T-shirt or find a new favorite at the Marquette Spirit Shop this Friday and celebrate the school pride that “College Colors Day” inspires.

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