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 maroon-and-gold attire during this highly anticipated, pregame ritual.

Pat’s Run: The annual 4.2-mile walk/run around the Tempe campus honors the memory of former Sun Devil football star Pat Tillman and offers participants a rewarding way to give back to the community. The walk/run ends, appropriately, 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. Designed for children from birth to eighth grade, Generations membership nurtures the relationship between a child and ASU and allows you and your children the chance to participate in some fun and Sun Devil-unique opportunities. Sun Devil Generations now offers free enrollment to ASU Alumni Gold Devil members!

Duel in the Desert: The football rivalry between the Arizona State University Sun Devils and University of Arizona Wildcats dates to 1899. The winner of the annual November gridiron grind receives the nation's oldest rivalry trophy  the Territorial Cup, which dates to the teams' historic first meeting, an 11-2 victory for the then-Normals! The cup's name reflects 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 ASU Alumni: Stay connected with your fellow Sun Devils nationwide well after your graduation through countless events designed to continue the traditions of ASU pride and community. Join today.

Palm Walk: Connecting the north end of the Tempe campus with the south end, Palm Walk is the most popular corridor on campus. It is lined on both with trees reaching heights of more than 70 feet. In 2016, the 100th anniversary of Palm Walk, the 110 standing Mexican fan palms were replaced with date palms, which will provide greater shade and be harvested annually.

Decorating your grad cap: With graduating classes topping 15,000 students annually, commencement is a golden opportunity for Sun Devil grads to stand out and display something unique an individually decorated mortarboard! Whether it be Greek letters, the flag of your home state, a special message to family or a nod to the future, this is your chance to 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 is being celebrated! 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 and home to an oversized “A” marking ASU territory. Whether you hike it to get a bit of exercise and an outstanding view of downtown Tempe, or spend the night guarding the “A” from those rascally UA Wildcats, "A" Mountain is a must-see.

Whitewashing “A” Mountain: It began in the 1930s as part of student orientation and continues to this day as an annual tradition. The incoming 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 of ASU's oldest traditions, nearly 100 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 are rewarded with a rally-like atmosphere and fireworks display.

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 entire community, and the parade was incorporated into the party, together with tents for the various colleges, reunion classes and campus organizations, as well as a host of academic and entertainment 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. 

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

Joining the Student Alumni Association: You don’t have to wait until graduation to be an active part in celebrating Sun Devil traditions and creating new ones! 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 the country's No. 1 university for innovation three years running, according to U.S. News & World Report! Be sure to tour the historic brick building, see the original photos and learn about the place where it all started.

Carillon: Think you hear bells ringing? You do! In 1966, ASU’s student government realized a budget surplus, which the state legislature sought to claim. Instead, university President G. Homer Durham urged the student officers to spend the money on a Maas-Rowe Symphonic Carillon, and they did just that. 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, Sun Devils “turned up the heat” to make their Fridays anything but casual. All students, staff and faculty members are encouraged to wear ASU colors especially gold — every Friday as an expression of Sun Devil spirit and pride.

The Inferno: The Inferno can be found at all ASU athletic events. You'll see it, join it: the student section is a sea of solid gold in salute to the tradition of all students wearing gold to show their school spirit and support.

Devil Walk: One of ASU's more recent 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 transported to the Sonoran desert by a solar flare. Giant Sparky raises his pitchfork and casts a haboob (that's a dust storm, by the way!) as he treks to Sun Devil Stadium. Before entering the stadium, Sparky's right foot stomps the visiting team's bus. Sparky's Devil Walk antics never fail 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 happens every kickoff! 

Chanting after first downs: Crowd involvement in games is a longstanding 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: For 40 years, The Chuckbox has been where ASU goes to burger. Located on University Drive two blocks east of Mill Avenue, the 'Box is known for its grilled-in-front-of-you, mouth-watering burgers, relaxed cowboy atmosphere and cash-only checkout!

Mill Avenue: Known as an ASU hot spot, this street is home to a variety of eclectic shopping, cool restaurants, a vibrant night life and live entertainment.