B Y T H E N U M B E R S
Orange and black
Why are Princeton's colors orange and black?
In April 1866, freshman George Ward noted that
Princeton had no patriotic colors, and recommended orange
since William III of the House of Nassau, for whom Nassau
Hall is named, was also the Prince of Orange.
The first recorded use of orange and black
together was in June 1867, when Ward provided his baseball
teammates with badges of orange ribbon printed with black
In 1874, William Libbey Jr., a member of the class
of 1877, arranged through his merchant father for 1,000
yards of black and orange silk ribbon to be manufactured and
sold as "Princeton's colors." The move rebuffed a Rutgers
attempt to claim those colors, which thereafter were used by
Princeton's athletic teams.
The trustees adopted orange and black as the
official colors for academic gowns in 1896. That year,
Professor Allan Marquard pointed out that the colors of the
House of Nassau were orange and blue. His objection,
however, won little support.
October 1, 2001
Vol. 91, No. 4
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