History of the Mascot and Colors

Truman the tiger

The current iteration of Truman, pictured riding a fire truck into a football game at Memorial Stadium, has been in use since 1984. 

Soon after Missouri's first football team was formed in 1890, the athletic committee adopted the nickname “Tiger” in official recognition of a group of local Civil War militia called “The Missouri Tigers.” Their fighting spirit is now embodied in MU's official mascot, “Truman the Tiger.”

Originally, MU had two tiger mascots, a male and a female, but neither had a specific identity. A contest to name the mascot was held in 1984. The winner, a student, submitted the name Truman (after Missouri-born President Harry S Truman).

Early historical references make mention of MU using crimson and gold as its school colors. But all Tiger fans know that the official colors for Mizzou are black and gold, in keeping with the colors of the Bengal Tiger.

Truman is a popular part of Mizzou tradition and makes over 35 appearances a month including all MU football and basketball games, civic functions, and visits to hospitals and schools.