RaceTrac’s College Colors: Florida Edition

This post comes from Lauren in our Marketing Department

When I was 16, I did the obligatory “tour of colleges” with my  parents.   We checked out some “Ivies of the South”, ACC schools, other SEC schools and Florida.   Florida was the last stop on our tour and by the time I got back in the car, I knew that I wanted to be a Florida Gator.

Gainesville and the University of Florida have a great laid back, yet unique charm.  A freshman can find the comforts of home (it’s a chain restaurant mecca) as well as explore some great local places and traditions.   Here are the top five reasons why it’s great to be a Florida Gator.

#5:  Fashion – for once and for all – GATORS DO NOT WEAR JEAN SHORTS!  Just had to get that off my chest.  But there is a laid back fashion sense in Gainesville that doesn’t necessarily include pearls to football games.

#4: World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party – Not sure if we are allowed to call it that anymore, but the annual faceoff between Florida and Georgia is one of the best traditions at UF.   For the last decade, it has definitely been great to be a Florida Gator that weekend….Florida holds an 8-2 advantage.

#3: Weather – How many schools can tan between classes?  Before I was worried about skin cancer and wrinkles, I used to love to lay out at “Broward Beach” and do homework between classes.   You can do this about 9 months out of the year.

#2:  Education – As an adult in the working world, I am very proud of my degree from the University of Florida.   According to US News and World Reports, UF is the 15th best public university in the country.  The average freshman had over a 4.0 GPA in high school!  I am not sure I would even get in if I had to apply now….

#1: Sports Excellence – Many people are aware of the championships and excellence in recent years from the football team and men’s basketball team, sports excellence runs deep at the University of Florida.  2009 marked the Gators’ twenty-sixth consecutive year among the nation’s top ten best overall collegiate athletic programs.  No other Division I athletic program has matched that feat, and Florida has achieved this record while fielding fewer sports teams than many of the other perennial top collegiate athletic programs.   In 2010, the Gators won National Championships in Men’s Indoor Track and Field and Women’s Swimming and Diving.    Go Gators!

Whether we are winning or losing, it’s great to be a Florida Gator.   The last few Saturdays have been tough for Gator fans, but  “In all kinds of weather, we all stick together for F-L-O-R-I-D-A!”

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RaceTrac’s College Colors: National Champion Auburn Edition

Today’s entry comes from Amy in our Human Resources department

In the waning hours of an Auburn Football Saturday, you’re likely to hear one thing repeated throughout the Plains. “It’s great to be an Auburn Tiger. I said it’s great to be an Auburn Tiger.” For those of you not fortunate enough to be familiar with Auburn, you may ask yourself why it’s great to be an Auburn Tiger. While it would be simple to run through images of Heisman Trophies, Sullivan to Beasley, Bo over the top or Cadillac completing a half-back pass for a touchdown against UGA, a few words really sum it up in a multitude of ways: History, Tradition, and Family.

Much like many Southern Universities, Auburn University is home to a great history. Founded in 1856, Auburn University is seated in the heart of a town named after an Oliver Goldsmith poem describing the loveliest village of the plain. Auburn University became the State of Alabama’s first public land grant university. It has become one of very few land grant, sea grant, and space grant Universities in the United States. Having nationally recognized architecture, veterinary science, engineering and business programs have lead to Auburn being recognized as a Top 50 public university for 15 consecutive years. Knowing that you are a part of something so long standing and diverse creates a great sense of pride. However, many of you are probably thinking that many other universities have similarly impressive histories. Auburn University, while inseparable from its history, is defined by its tradition and sense of family.

Auburn University is home to many proud traditions including Tiger Walk, rolling the oak trees found at Toomer’s Corner after a win, and knowing that every day at noon you will hear the bells at Samford Tower chime the fight song. However, to many, Auburn University tradition can be defined in two words: “War Eagle.” First, War Eagle is a battle cry and not a mascot or a nickname. You cannot properly refer to a person as a War Eagle or to a team as the War Eagles. The legend of War Eagle dates back to a football game against the University of Georgia in 1892 and the phrase has become an everlasting emblem of the Auburn Spirit. The University flies an eagle into Jordan-Hare Stadium before every home game as the embodiment of this spirit. These two words unite members of the Auburn Family both at home and abroad and provide a universal greeting to instantly identify one another no matter where you may find yourselves.

This connection is much more than just the battle cry. The Auburn family is more than just a collection of graduates from a single university in the Deep South. This family is a bond of spirit and understanding that resonates within each member and has been captured by George Petrie in the Auburn Creed. The Creed sets forth those things that each Auburn man and woman believes in, including education, honesty, a sound mind, and Country among others. The final line of the Creed sums up why so many of us think it is great to be an Auburn Tiger as it reads: “And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.”