Stephen F. Austin State University

Traditions Council

COVID 19 Changes/Updates

Traditions Council is continuing to meet their organization mission through an online format. Membership is currently transitioning programs to present them to our Lumberjack family in a virtual capacity. Visit our social media @SFASTC for the most up to date programming information.

About SFA Traditions Council

The Traditions Council promotes and preserves SFA's rich history and traditions. Bleeding purple and white is an understatement. These students host events and spirit rallies that showcase SFA Traditions throughout the year including coordinating SFA Homecoming! The hard work and efforts of the Traditions Council members connect students to important aspects of campus life and assist students in achieving the full lumberjack experience.

If you have any questions about the group or would like for them to do a presentation on University Traditions, call (936) 468-6721 or email at


Membership Requirements

- Weekly meetings: Tuesdays 7:00 p.m.

- Office Hours: 1 hour per week

- 2.25 GPA Requirement

- Volunteer hours for sponsored activities such as Homecoming, The Doches Pageant and more!

Traditions Council Officer Board

President: Cole Muske

Vice President: Paige Vadnais

Secretary: Amanda Ramirez

Logistics Coordinator: Tina Beth Pope

Member Relations: Kennady Tooke

University Songs

All Hail to SFA

Oh future bright 'neath the

Purple and White

All hail to SFA.

'Mid Texas pines we have

Found peaceful shrines

Where ev'ry month is May.

Long live our Alma Mater,

Honor to thee for aye.

As years unfold, happy

Mem'ries we'll hold,

All hail to SFA.

Fight Song

Go Jacks Go!

Fight Jacks Fight!

Win Jacks Win!


SFA Traditions

Our SFA Traditions

Our Namesake Stephen F. Austin

Born in Virginia and raised in southeastern Missouri, Stephen Fuller Austin is considered the founder of Anglo-American Texas. He graduated in 1810 with distinction from Transylvania University in Kentucky. An unassuming man with a kindly presence, he was deeply respected by all, and he achieved unparalleled influence over the often unruly settlers in Anglo Texas. He is remembered in history for his many efforts on behalf of Texas before, during and immediately after Texas' Revolution with Mexico. His contributions to Texas included: long and perilous pilgrimages to Mexico; his unwillingness to counsel his people to take up arms against the Mexican government as long as any hope for peace remained; his firm and decided voice, speaking words of encouragement and hope during the darkest days of the revolution; and his laborious travels in the United States to obtain needed support for his struggling countrymen. After devoting his life to the cause of Texas, Austin was overcome by disease and on Dec. 27, 1836, died an untimely death at age 43.

The Stone Fort Museum

In the spring of 1779, Antonio Gil Y'Barbo led some displaced settlers back to East Texas to found the community of Nacogdoches. They had formerly lived in western Louisiana and eastern Texas near Spanish missions. Soon after leading his wanderers to the valley of LaNana and Banita Bayous, Y'Barbo erected a Stone house on the northeast corner of town square. There he conducted private and government business, so it became the civic center of the community. $0 In 1936, a replica of the Old Stone Fort was located on the campus of SFA.

Ole Cotton

At every home football game, the SFA ROTC introduces the opposing team to Ole Cotton. Each time the Lumberjacks score, Ole Cotton is fired. The sound booms through the stadium and the town. If you have never been to a game, but you've heard the booms, don't worry. It's just those Lumberjacks kickin' some axe.

Lighting of Steen and Student Center

It is possible that a student might have to miss an athletic event due to the need to study for a more important final or midterm. To let those who are unable to attend know of our victory, SFA has purple lights visible on top of one of the tallest buildings on campus, Steen Hall. A purple light also is illuminated in the Student Center clock tower. After every SFA game, the students of SFA and the residents of Nacogdoches can look to the purple lights on campus and rejoice in our victory.

*Garner Apartments was the home to the victory light for over 40 years until the light was moved to Steen Hall in Fall 2010.

The Axe

The Axe is the tool or weapon of choice of the Lumberjack. To the members of the SFA community, it has dualistic association, in this case representing both destruction and creation. American Indians, the Chinese and even the Celts called axes "thunder stones." As such, axes became closely associated with power.


Homecoming features the best of what SFA is all about. Held every fall, usually in October, homecoming is not just one tradition, but a series of traditions that bring Lumberjacks one and all together to celebrate SFA. During the week, the campus welcomes home its alumni and friends with the traditional bonfire and pep rally, homecoming elections, Duck Dash, downtown parade, football game, and much, much more!

Purple Haze Association

Purple Haze, a tradition created by a group of student leaders, is more than a section of students at the football game. The student section was founded in 2001. Purple Haze is a commitment and dedication to the Lumberjack spirit. Each new student receives their own Purple Haze t-shirt during orientation, that displays the SFA school song across the back. In 2013, Purple Haze Association became an official student organization.

The SFA Lumberjack

In 1923 the students and faculty met in assembly to decide upon a name for the athletic teams. Several names wereconsidered, and those proposing the names led yells to demonstrate the greatness of their nominations. By vote, the assembly chose LUMBERJACKS, the name submitted by T. E. Ferguson, professor of English. Since that time, the mascot of SFA has continued to represent the university and community of Nacogdoches.

The SFA Ring

The SFA Ring is SFA's official class ring. Students receive the ring in a ceremony called the Big Dip. The Big Dip signifies one of the last steps to alumni-hood as students dip their hands in purple dye and are presented with their mentor ring.

Watermelon Bash

Each summer the Student Government Association host the Watermelon Bash. This event signales the end of the summer and allows students a chance to let loose while university administrators serve watermelon. The Watermelon Bash is SGA's oldest standing tradition.


Chester is our campus ghost. He stays in the Griffith Fine Arts Building and likes to make his presence known to SFA students. He first appeared in a picture of the cast of Tiny Alice in 1967. Since then has developed a liking for having his picture taken during plays at SFA. If you look at the fine Arts building you will notice that it faces towards North Street rather than to the center of campus like all other buildings on campus. After construction was underway, the architect responsible for the design of the Fine Arts Building came to see how it was going. He was shocked to discover that the foundation had been poured backwards; so shocked that he immediately had a heart attack and died becoming Chester, our campus ghost. He now spends his time haunting his building watching plays at SFA.


Closing out the year is the last real party of the spring semester, and it's held right on campus. Springfest is sponsored by the Student Activities Association and features bands, in games, free food and drinks, and thousands of dollars in prizes and free stuff. Springfest is held over a one-week period, usually at the end of April.

The Chief Caddo Trophy

The Chief Caddo Trophy stands 7 feet 6 inches in height, weighs over 320 pounds and is the largest symbol passed between NCAA universities in the nation. The statue is awarded annually to the winner of the Lumberjack-Demon contest. The statue originated in 1960 when longtime rivals SFA and Northwestern State decided to award the winner of the game a trophy. The two institutions settled on a statue of a mythical Indian chief whose tribe was fabled to be responsible for settling the locations that became English-speaking Nacogdoches and Natchitoches.

Family Weekend

Clean out the fridge, and don't do laundry. This weekend has been set aside to invite the families of SFA students to campus to see how their students are surviving. Sponsored by the Residence Hall Association, this event draws nearly 2,000 parents and friends to the campus for a weekend of campus entertainment, tours of campus and college students looking for a trip to Wal-Mart or a great meal out on the town with their parents. $$$$

Students With Disabilities

The Office of Student Affairs Programs is committed to providing support for students with disabilities. If you are a student who needs an accommodation to attend or participate in one of our events or student organizations you are encouraged to stop by room 325 in the Human Services Building to make your request. You may also call us at (936) 468-6401, TDD: (936) 468-1004.

If you have an accommodation request please see us as soon as possible, so we can make any arrangements necessary. Accommodations can only be arranged once a request has been submitted in writing to Disability Services. To the greatest extent possible, the Office of Student Affairs Programs shall observe confidentiality with respect to any request for accommodation.

Students who feel they have not been accommodated appropriately can appeal that decision utilizing the university appeals process.