Whether you're a student, employee, alum or proud fan, UMKC invites you to join in on our traditions — both old and new — to showcase your Roo Pride and be a part of our unique and diverse family.

UMKC Traditions

When you hear the word 'tradition,' you may think of something that's old, long-established or passed down from several generations. While UMKC has a rich history that dates back to 1929 – with many traditions created along the way – we are proud to establish and introduce new traditions as we embark on an era of unbreakable school spirit and pride.

Our (Revamped) Fight Song

Having a fight song is vital for students, fans, alumni and community members to showcase school pride. What's unique about our fight song is that although it was newly established in 2018, it is thought to have been created before 1963.

As part of an effort to reignite school spirit and standing traditions, our UMKC Athletics Department collaborated with several offices around campus and dug into the University archive. What they discovered was a non-dated version of the Kansas City University fight song, titled "Kangarooters."

Although the "Kangarooters" instrumental version is different from the current fight song melody, Athletics used these lyrics as a starting point and inspirtation for the creation of the new fight song. The newly enhanced fight song will be a mainstay at all home athletics events from now in to the future.

"Go Kangaroos
Fighting for the gold and blue
Win Kangaroos
To Kansas City always true
Onward, forward, upward rising
Loyal through and through
Stand up and show pride for your Kangaroos
Go Kangaroos
Fighting for the gold and blue
Win Kangaroos
To Kansas City always true
Onward, forward, upward rising
Loyal through and through
Stand up and show pride for your Kangaroos"

Our Alma Mater

Our alma mater was written by brothers Vincent and Edwin Robbins, and Bill Hathaway and introduced first to the Men's Glee Club back in 1940. In tandem with our newly established fight song, the UMKC Alma Mater will be sung at all UMKC home sporting events to bring all members of the Roo family together in a spirited embrace.

"From blue Midwestern sky
Sun shines like gold
Proud place where dreams are
Built mem'ries unfold
As with those who've gone before
We will ever be
Singing to the blue and gold of UMKC"

students on bleachers on a sunny day

Our Colors and Our Mascot

Back when UMKC was still establishing itself as the University of Kansas City, or UKC, the students were busy working to establish a new identity. In 1934, the student council named "old gold and royal blue" the official school colors, which still stand today. Blue is a symbol for trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith and truth. Gold represents honor and loyalty.

Then, in 1937, before an athletics department was even established, Kasey the Kangaroo – who we still know and love today – became the official mascot of UKC. But what makes him so magical?

It has a little something to do with the magic-maker himself, Walt Disney, who actually drafted the original version of Kasey. Although our mascot has evolved over time, you can still catch our 'Classic Roo' on t-shirts, posters, and other memorabilia around campus.

Students pose for a photo with KC Roo

Our Hand Signal

A newly adopted tradition in 2018 is the UMKC hand sign, which means #RooUp. It's created by holding the index and pinky fingers up – portraying the ears of a Kangaroo – and meeting the ring finger, middle finger and thumb in front – portraying the nose of a Kangaroo.

You'll see #RooUp displayed all over campus and at sporting events to showcase our incredible Roo pride.

Students make the 'roo up' hand signal

Founder's Week

Roo Nation pulls out all the stops during our long-standing tradition known as Founders' Week. Formerly called Homecoming, Founders' Week is a week-long celebration during the last week in October for students, faculty, staff, alumni, families and the community to commemorate the university's anniversary.

Events and activities are hosted on our two campuses and throughout the Kansas City community – everything from alumni concerts, athletics games, art exhibits and trivia nights to haunted campus tours, speakers, volunteer events and the annual Regalia Run.

Marathon runners pass by a puddle

Learn More

Want to learn more about UMKC's unique and rich history? Discover how it all started and how we grew to become the UMKC you know and love today.

Our History