Florida State University History
Before being known as an athletic powerhouse, Florida State University went through more than a few name changes. Florida State first got started in 1857 in Tallahassee, when it was named the State Seminary West of the Suwannee River. The school quickly integrated with the Tallahassee Female Academy, and was renamed the West Florida Seminary. The school was renamed The Florida Military and Collegiate Institute in 1863, after the addition of a military section for cadet training. After becoming Florida State College in 1901, the name was again changed, this time to the Florida Female College when its male student body was relocated. In 1909, the institution became the Florida State College for Women and gradually grew to become the nation’s third largest women’s college by the 1930s. In 1947, the school went back to coeducational status and became The Florida State University.
Florida State athletically competed as an independent school until it joined the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), playing their first season in 1992. Since joining the conference, Florida State has won 15 conference championships and most recently won the last BCS championship game against Auburn in 2014.
Chief Osceola and Renegade
When the university was renamed The Florida State University in 1947, the school also reinstated their football team and needed a mascot. The student body voted on names for the mascot, and “Seminoles” was the winner. The name was chosen to honor the long-lasting Seminole Tribe of Florida for its long history of strength and perseverance.
In 1978, to more closely represent the Seminole tribe, the school introduced two living symbols, a warrior named Osceola and his horse, Renegade. Like the Seminole tribe, Osceola has a rich history as well. Osceola was one of the most inspirational people in his tribe, known for his persistent fight against their removal. He battled U.S. troops for almost two years before dying of illness.
Renegade, Osceola’s horse, has been a fixture at Seminole football games since he was revealed. The current horse is named Renegade VI; Renegade V was retired in 2014 at halftime during a game against Wake Forest.
Before every game with the entire crowd on their feet yelling the Florida State “war chant” and swinging their hands in the air back and forth like a tomahawk, Osceola holds a flaming spear while riding atop Renegade. After the Seminole faithfully finishes the university’s fight song, they ride to the center of the field where Renegade bucks up on his hind legs while Osceola drives his spear into the ground, causing the crowd to erupt.
Ride on with Chief Osceola and Renegade in one of the greatest traditions in college football. Head over to Fanatics to grab your Florida State gear and cheer on the ’Noles!