Do Students at the University of Michigan Call Themselves Wolverines? If so, Why and What does going Blue Mean?

Last Updated on October 4, 2023 by Alex PT

Yes, students at the University of Michigan often call themselves Wolverines. The nickname “Wolverines” originated in the early 19th century when Michigan was called the “Wolverine State” due to its ruggedness. “Going Blue” refers to supporting the university’s sports teams, whose colors are maize and blue.

Why do the University of Michigan students call themselves Wolverines?

Why do the University of Michigan students call themselves Wolverines

1. Symbol Of Michigan:

The wolverine is closely associated with the state of Michigan, often referred to as the ‘Wolverine State.’ This association can be traced back to the early 19th century when Michigan was a central hub in the fur trade, with wolverine pelts forming a significant portion of the trade.

2. University Tradition:

The University of Michigan strongly adopts this state symbolism, with the school mascots being Biff and Bennie, the Wolverines. The usage of the term ‘Wolverines’ thus becomes a matter of tradition and history, deeply intertwined with the university’s identity.

3. Mascot Adoption:

While the University of Michigan doesn’t have a live wolverine as its mascot, the term ‘Wolverines’ dates back to the early decades of the 20th century when an actual wolverine named Benny was brought to football games. This ultimately resulted in students embracing the ‘Wolverines’ tag.

4. Symbolic Characteristics:

The wolverine is a creature known for its strength, cunning, and tenacity. These characteristics foster a sense of pride and camaraderie among students at U-M, who endeavor to showcase such traits in their intellectual, athletic, and personal pursuits. This alignment of qualities makes the ‘Wolverine’ a revered and fitting symbol for the student body.

5. A Unifying Factor:

The nickname ‘Wolverines’ serves as a unifying factor for all students at the University of Michigan. Irrespective of their majors, classes, or backgrounds, students stand together as Wolverines, creating a strong sense of community and identity on campus.

6. Representation in Sports:

Sports teams at the University of Michigan, especially its renowned football team, bear the title ‘Wolverines.’ This title embodies an indomitable spirit and competitive sportsmanship, further strengthening the association of students with the Wolverine label.

What’s the history behind the adoption of Wolverines as a mascot?

The University of Michigan adopted the wolverine as its mascot in the early 1860s. There are a few different theories about why the wolverine was chosen.

One theory is that it was inspired by the Wolverine’s reputation for being fierce and tenacious. The wolverine is a small but powerful animal that is known for its aggressive behavior. It is also known for being very resourceful and able to survive in harsh conditions. These qualities were seen as reflecting the spirit of the University of Michigan and its students.

Another theory is that the Wolverine was chosen as a mascot because of its association with the state of Michigan. Michigan was known as the “Wolverine State” in the 19th century, and the wolverine was often used as a symbol of the state’s strength and resilience.

The first time that the wolverine was used as a mascot for the University of Michigan was in 1864 when the school’s baseball team played a game against the University of Notre Dame. The Michigan team wore uniforms with a Wolverine logo, and they were victorious in the game.

Since then, the wolverine has been the official mascot of the University of Michigan. It is featured on the school’s athletic uniforms, logos, and other materials. The wolverine is also a popular symbol among University of Michigan students and alumni.

In 1927, the University of Michigan acquired a live wolverine as a mascot. The wolverine was named Biff, and he lived in a small zoo at the university. Biff was often brought to athletic events, where he was a popular attraction with fans.

Today, the University of Michigan does not have a live wolverine as a mascot. However, the wolverine remains an important symbol of the school and its athletic teams. The wolverine represents the strength, resilience, and determination of the University of Michigan community.

When did the University of Michigan embrace Wolverines as its mascot?

Inspired by legendary Michigan football coach Fielding Yost in 1923, the university adopted Wolverines as its mascot close to a hundred years ago.

What does the term ‘go blue’ mean?

In simple terms, ‘Go blue’ is a popular used as an expression to motivate the University of Michigan sports teams during games. This common chant of encouragement is unique to students and fans of the sports teams and it literally means to ‘get going’ or ‘get started’. The University of Michigan is renowned for being strong in collegiate sports and building rivalries through the years. These chants have become an expression of identity and it is used as a weapon to rattle their opposition during games.

How did the university come about the term ‘Go blue’?

The term ‘go blue’ is a reference to the official color of the University of Michigan. The school is popularly known for its maize (yellow) and blue is the uniform color which is worn by all the university sporting units. The term is a special sports cheer among the university students, staff, alumni, and fans.

What is the nickname of the University of Michigan stadium?

Sporting activities at the University of Michigan are top-notch with a well-built stadium with a massive capacity. The Michigan Stadium is nicknamed ‘the big house’ with an impressive 100,000 capacity. The big house is arguably one of the largest stadiums I’m college football and it’s the hosting place for the university’s annual ceremony for undergraduates.


Below is a compiled list of frequently asked questions about why the University of Michigan students are called the Wolverines and why the chants ‘Go blue’ during sports games. Let’s check them out!

What color does the University of Michigan sports teams wear?

The official color of the University is maize and blue. However, the maize alternatively means yellow which makes it officially blue and yellow.

What is the University of Michigan known for?

The prestigious university is known for its excellence in academics and sporting activities. They are consistently ranked among the top 10 universities and the football team holds the record for most wins in college football.

Why is the university of Michigan mascot a wolverine?

Although the origin of the term Wolverine is debated, it was adopted by the university because it has been in existence in Michigan state before the university was established.

Why are Michigan colors maize and blue?

The two colors are officially adopted as the school color and are ably represented on the university flag. In finer detail, the blue part was described as the ‘blue of the summer sky’ while the yellow part was the ‘yellow of the ripe corn’.

Closing the thoughts

The University of Michigan is called the Wolverines because that is the term they officially adopted as their mascot. On the other hand, ‘Go blue’ is a unique chant coined from the official color of the University to encourage and motivate players during sports games.

We have come to the end of this informative article and we hope the resources provided in this write-up are enough to answer all your queries regarding the article topic. Kindly reach us through the comment section if you have more questions. 



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