Given the diversity of the College of Business student body, students may not know much about the West Texas A&M University campus, history, and traditions. In each issue of our newsletter, we will highlight some of the locations on campus and WT traditions that make us proud to be Buffs!
Buff? What’s a Buff?
West Texas A&M University has been known as the “Home of the Buffs” since 1921 when the student body chose the native Buffalo as the school mascot. There were other mascot suggestions – a badger, a chaparral, a coyote, a rattlesnake, and a prairie dog – that caused a heated debate among the student body. However, a cowboy from the T-Anchor ranch, L. “Parson” Gough, took the floor and described a time in 1892 when he and another cowboy roped two buffalo calves in the same location that Old Main was eventually built. According to legend, the student body gave a standing ovation for Gough’s nomination and ever since then, the mighty buffalo has served as our mascot.
The Fall 2019 football season will be an exciting time for the Buffs. The football opener on Sept 7 will be the first game played in the newly constructed Buffalo Stadium. The new stadium will seat 8,500 fans right on campus and will start a new era of Buff Football creating new and exciting traditions along the way. While there is anticipation for the new stadium, many students and alum will always have fond memories from games played at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.
Kimbrough, built in 1959, has a seating capacity of 20,000 and is located just off Interstate 27, about two miles north of the WTAMU campus. Originally called the Buffalo Bowl, it was renamed Kimbrough Memorial Stadium in 1971 to honor Frank Kimbrough, the late WT football coach and athletic director. The off-campus location was chosen for its elevation features that made the bowl-like construction easier to complete. However, students and administrators hoped that an on-campus location would grow school spirit and in 2016, the WT student body voted to approve an increased student fee to pay for a majority of the new stadium project.
While WTAMU is moving forward with a new stadium, one important relic from Kimbrough relocated to campus. The White Buffalo that has stood on the hill beside Kimbrough Memorial Stadium since 1968, has been removed and was recently restored. It now sits on the south-end of the new stadium along Russell Long Boulevard. The White Buffalo, which is nine feet tall and twelve feet long, was placed on a platform and will be lit year-round. While it will never replace Kimbrough, everyone in the Buff family hopes that this little piece of the stadium will keep the WT Buff Football spirit alive.
For more information about campus traditions visit https://www.wtamu.edu/about/traditions.aspx.