Sun Devil Traditions

Tailgating: Nothing gets you more pumped up for Sun Devil football than spending an afternoon tailgating and barbequing with hundreds of other fans all sporting their gold attire during this crucial, pregame ritual.

Pat’s Run: The annual 4.2 walk/run around the Tempe campus honors the memory of the former Sun Devil football star and gives participants a memorable experience of giving back to the community and ending their trek on the 42-yard-line at Sun Devil Stadium.

Sun Devil Generations: Sun Devil Generations creates a lifelong ASU connection by involving children in various traditions and upcoming events catering specifically to youngsters. Aimed at children from birth to eighth grade, membership nurtures the relationship between a child and ASU and allows you and your children to participate in some fun and very unique opportunities. Sun Devil Generations, the Alumni Association's program for children birth through eighth grade, now offers free enrollment to ASU Alumni Association Gold Devil members.

Duel in the Desert: The football rivalry between the Arizona State Sun Devils and Arizona Wildcats dates back to 1899. The winner of the annual contest in November receives the nation's oldest rivalry trophy - the Territorial Cup. The traveling trophy originally was used in 1899 for the series that involved the team's' first ever meeting. As the Normal School won all three of its games, it was declared champion and awarded the trophy. The cup's name refers to the fact that Arizona was a U.S. territory at the time; it became a state in 1912.
Maroon and Gold: Since 1896, gold has been the prominent color for ASU. The color was chosen for the golden promise, treasure and sunshine offered by the then Arizona Territory. In 1898, maroon and white were added to the scheme as part of the football team’s uniform, but gold still stands as ASU’s prominent color.

Joining The ASU Alumni Association: Stay connected with your fellow Sun Devils nationwide well after your graduation through countless events meant to continue the traditions of ASU pride and community. Join today.

Palm Walk: Connecting the north end of the Tempe campus to the south, Palm Walk is the most popular corridor on campus and is lined on either side with trees reaching heights of over 90 feet and dating back to 1916.

Decorating your grad cap: With graduating classes well into the thousands each year, stand out and show something unique about yourself by decorating the top of your cap. Whether it be with your Greek letters or the flag of your home state, walk proudly across the stage with a little flair added to your grad gear.

Sparky: You’ll be sure to find the beloved ASU mascot roaming around nearly every sporting event, parade, or any place ASU pride can be found. Be sure to snap a picture with the Sun Devil to forever commemorate your college pride.

A Mountain: The Tempe Butte, on the north side of campus, is the school’s landmark point that is home to an oversized “A” marking ASU territory. Whether you hike it to get an outstanding view of the city of Tempe, or spend the night guarding the “A” from U of A Wildcats, A-Mountain is a must-see.

Whitewashing “A” Mountain: It began in the 1930s as part of Orientation and continues to this day as an annual tradition where the freshman class hikes "A" Mountain and whitewashes the coveted letter white during Welcome Week, indicating the beginning of another year at Arizona State University.

Attending the Lantern Walk: Lantern Walk is one ASU's oldest traditions, nearly 98-years-old. On the Friday before homecoming, faculty, students and alumni climb to the summit of "A" Mountain with lanterns in hand to light their path to the top. Participants then listen to speakers and watch a fireworks show.

Homecoming: Every fall since 1924, Homecoming FestDevil has brought alumni, students, friends and community supporters together to celebrate the traditions, pride, friendships and experiences that are all part of ASU life. The Homecoming Parade is a popular, time-honored event that draws large crowds to downtown Tempe where hundreds of campus clubs, organizations, and local businesses display their floats. In 2003, ASU held its first Homecoming Block Party for the ASU and surrounding community, and the parade was incorporated into the Block Party together with tents for the various colleges, reunion classes and campus organizations, alongside many other activities.

Fear the Fork: Perhaps the easiest way to recognize a Sun Devil is by seeing them sport the “Fork ‘em Devils” hand sign that is the universal sign of ASU pride

Watching the homecoming parade: The Homecoming FestDevil has been a tradition since fall 1924 when students, alumni and the community gathered to celebrate ASU life and culture. The Homecoming Parade is held in downtown Tempe and attracts large crowds. Hundreds of student organizations and community businesses showcase their floats at the parade. 

Sparky Plate: Be the ultimate Sun Devil fan and purchase an ASU Sparky license plate from the Arizona MVD for $25. You’ll be supporting both school spirit and scholarship, as $17 of your purchase goes to the Alumni Association’s Medallion Scholarship fund to help other deserving ASU students. To purchase your plate, visit You also will find Sparky license plates in Maryland, Texas and Pennsylvania.

Joining SAA: You don’t have to wait until graduation to maintain Sun Devil tradition. Join the Student Alumni Association to promote the spirit, traditions and pride of your ASU campus. Join today!

Old Main: The first building on the ASU Tempe campus, Old Main was built in 1898 as part of the Territorial Normal School that eventually would develop into the university we know today. Be sure to tour the historic red brick building, see the original photos, and learn about the place where it all truly started.

Carillon: Think you hear bells ringing? You do! In 1966, ASU’s student government ended up with a budget surplus, which the State Legislature wanted to take back. President G. Homer Durham urged the student officers to spend the money on a Maas-Rowe Symphonic Carillon instead, and they did so. The carillon was dedicated as a memorial to those in the ASU community who gave their lives for their country. Today it is housed in the lower level of Old Main. Information:

Wearing Gold on Fridays: In 2003, this new tradition to “turn up the heat” made Fridays anything but casual. All students, staff and faculty members are encouraged to wear ASU colors every Friday as an expression of Sun Devil spirit and pride.

The Inferno: The Inferno can be found at all ASU athletic events when the student section becomes a sea of solid gold due to the long-established tradition that all students wear gold to show their school spirit and support.

Devil Walk: One of ASU's newest traditions is Devil Walk. Two hours before a home game, fans and the Sun Devil Marching Band greet ASU football players and coaches as they walk to Sun Devil Stadium. Before kickoff, fans watch a video of a giant Sparky summoned in the Arizona desert by a solar flare. Giant Sparky raises his pitchfork and casts a haboob as he treks to Sun Devil Stadium, destroying houses, properties and vehicles. Before entering the stadium, Sparky's right foot stomps the visiting team's bus. This new tradition never fails to hype the crowd and prepare it for a Sun Devil victory. 

Shaking your keys before kickoff: If you attend an ASU football game and see everyone around you standing up and wildly shaking their car keys, they are not crazy. This a tradition at ASU football games and it represents the start of the next drive. 

Chanting after first downs: Crowd involvement in games is a long-standing tradition. Whenever the Sun Devils convert a first down, the announcer says, "That's another Sun Devil first down." After that, the crowd makes a pitchfork and points to the end zone. But this tradition has been tweaked in recent years. Today, students point their pitchforks to the field, rock their forearms back and forth three times and assume the stance of a referee signaling a first down..

Celebrating touchdowns with pushups: After the Sun Devils score a touchdown, the marching band plays the fight song and Sparky is hoisted onto a board and does one pushup for every point on the scoreboard. After his pushups, Sparky and the Sun Devil Spirit Squad lead the crowd in chants.

The Secret Garden: Located somewhere in the heart of the ASU Tempe campus, this little-known spot is the perfect place to spend an afternoon reading under a tree or enjoying a picnic with friends…as long as you can find it first! Here's a hint: the garden is located beneath one of the campus residence halls! Happy hunting!

The Chuckbox: Located right on University Drive, in the heart of the Tempe campus, this ASU institution is known for its mouth-watering burgers and relaxed cowboy atmosphere that is perfect for a bite any time.

Mill Avenue: Known as an ASU hot spot, this street is home to great shopping, delicious restaurants, some of the best night-life, and most interesting characters in Tempe.