The Columbia Lion was adopted as a sports symbol by the Student Board in 1910 following the presentation of a blue and white banner with the motto “Leo Columbaie.” George Brokaw Compton of the Class of 1909 first suggested the idea and the original banner was a gift from the Society of the Early Eighties.
In 1924 the Lion received formal recognition when a 14-ton bronze statue of the legendary monarch was presented as a gift of the Class of 1899 on the occasion of the dedication of Baker Field. The statue stood on a hillside overlooking the “upper” or practice field, but was moved in 1962 and is now gazing over Baker Field from in front of the Chrystie Field House.
Columbia has received numerous offers of live lion cubs to serve as rallying points at football games, but they have mostly been declined. Usually, a cheerleader dressed in lion finery serves this function. However, on several occasions live lions have been rented for Homecoming; the most recent appearances of lions, caged beneath the scoreboard, were in 1963 and 1967.
The above was Taken from Columbia v. Cornell Football Program 1968, pictured below.
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