Perhaps the easiest way to recognize fellow Sun Devils is by seeing them sport the “Fork ‘em Devils” hand sign — the universal sign of ASU pride!
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 during Welcome Week, indicating the beginning of another year at Arizona State University..
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.
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 four 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 ASU began.
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-Tempe Normals! The cup's name reflects the fact that Arizona was a U.S. territory at the time; it became a state in 1912.
Beat UofA week
More than 100 years in the making, the weeklong Beat UofA tradition is a signature “loud-and-proud” celebration of Sun Devil dominance over its southern Arizona rivals. From “No Pity for the Kitty” to guarding “A” Mountain, and from “bold in gold” garb to a raucous “Fork ‘em” attitude, Sun Devils far and near get in on the fun and games. And, speaking of games, the week reaches its ultimate crescendo on game day when the two schools collide on the football field for a season-ending Pac-12 hullabaloo!
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 each 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.
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, serving notice that the Sun Devils are ready to DRIVE!
Chanting after first downs
A fired-up crowd is a longstanding tradition at Sun Devil Stadium. 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. The crowd counts each pushup. After, Sparky and the Sun Devil Spirit Squad lead the crowd in chants.
Nothing gets you more pumped up for Sun Devil football than spending an afternoon tailgating and barbecuing with hundreds of other fans sporting their maroon-and-gold attire during this highly anticipated, pregame ritual. In recent years, the addition of the family-oriented Sparky's Touchdown Tailgates has introduced an entertaining gathering place featuring activities, former Sun Devil players, the marching band and more.
The Inferno can be found at all ASU athletic events, and is one of the biggest and boldest happenings in college sports. 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. The Inferno is a hot ticket available to all students at no charge via the ASU mobile app!
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!
Touching Paley Gates
Touching the Paley Gates links the beginning and completion of a Sun Devil’s educational experience at the West campus. The gates, designed by modernist sculptor Albert Paley, are touched by incoming freshmen and by graduates each year before their commencement ceremonies. Anticipating the impact of the university on incoming students and looking back on life lessons learned by graduating students, the tradition pays respect to how ASU has touched the hearts and minds of tomorrow’s leaders.
Connecting the north and south ends of the Tempe campus, Palm Walk is the most popular corridor on campus. It is lined on both sides 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.
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.
Attending the Lantern Walk
Lantern Walk is one of ASU's oldest traditions, nearly 100 years in the making! 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.