Legislation signed by Florida Gov. Millard Caldwell returns the Florida
State College for Women to coeducational status and renames it
Florida State University. The football team is organized, and the
process of selecting a team name begins.
FSU students select “Seminole” as their team name from more than
100 names proposed. Other finalists include Crackers, Statesmen,
Tarpons and Fighting Warriors.
The first attempt at establishing a horse with an Indian rider as an FSU
tradition is attempted. The reaction is mixed, and the idea is quickly
The Seminole Tribe of Florida gains federal status; the tribe ratifies a
new Seminole Constitution by a vote of 241-5.
A new mascot, Sammy Seminole, is introduced at FSU’s Pow Wow
festivities. Sammy Seminole is portrayed by FSU student Casper
FSU student Bill Durham, serving on the university’s Homecoming
Committee, proposes starting a new tradition in which a student dressed as a Seminole Indian would ride a horse and perform during the Homecoming football game. The idea doesn’t get much support — but does become the basis of the Osceola and Renegade tradition in
A new mascot for the FSU men’s basketball team, Chief Fullabull,
makes his debut. The buffoonish character specializes in skits such as
ceremonially “massacring” effigies of opposing teams’ mascots.
At the request of leaders of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Chief
Fullabull is retired.
Two drawings by graphic artist John Roberge — those of FSU’s now-
iconic Indian head logo and of a running Indian warrior — were
adopted as official university insignias. Over the years, minor changes
have been made to the Indian head logo, including straightening the
hump and rounding the tip of his nose, and adding the word “Florida”
on the feather in his hair.
FSU mascot Sammy Seminole is officially retired.
Chief Howard Tommie of the Seminole Tribe of Florida is asked to be
an honorary member of the Homecoming Steering Committee. Tribal
representatives have continued to attend and contribute to FSU’s
Homecoming every year since.
Football coach Bobby Bowden arrives at FSU.
Bill Durham, a Tallahassee businessman and FSU alumnus, convinces
football coach Bobby Bowden to support the creation of a new school
tradition — a depiction of a Seminole warrior astride a horse — as a
means of increasing school spirit at football games. A horse owned by
Tallahassee veterinarian Dr. Jerry DeLoney makes its first appearance
as Renegade at an FSU football game on Sept. 16. (Ironically, the
football team’s opponents on that day were the Oklahoma State
Cowboys.) The horse is ridden by FSU student Jack Kidder, who
depicts an unnamed Seminole warrior that fans initially refer to as
Savage Sam or the Seminole Warrior.
Renegade’s rider is called Chief Osceola for the first time.
FSU’s female Indian head logo is designed by graphic artist Tom
Wiedenhoeft and adopted as an official university insignia for women’s
The Florida Indian Youth Program, an on-campus immersion designed
to make college seem less alien to Florida’s American Indians, makes
its debut at FSU with 17 students.
The “Seminole War Chant” makes its debut during an FSU football
home game against Auburn.
Chief James E. Billie, chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida,
endorses FSU’s use of the name “Seminoles” in a letter to the FSU
Alumni Association. “The word `Seminole’ means `untamed,'” said
Billie. “Nothing can hold them back. We are proud to be Seminoles,
and we are proud of the Florida State University Seminoles. We are all
The Northwest Florida Creek Indian Council, a statutory agency of the State of Florida that represents all non-federally recognized Creek Indian tribes in North Florida, approves a resolution showing support for the Florida State University Seminoles and Marching Chiefs “for their enjoyable representation of the Indian spirit.”
At the request of leaders from the Seminole Tribe of Florida, FSU’s running-warrior insignia is retired.
Shayne Osceola becomes the first Florida Seminole Indian to graduate from FSU.
Betty Mae Jumper, a Florida Seminole leader and storyteller, is presented with an honorary degree in humane letters from FSU.
The Lady Scalp Hunters, an alumnae booster club, changes its name to Lady Spirit Hunters.
Carla Gopher becomes the second Florida Seminole Indian and the first female Seminole to graduate from FSU.
Chief James Billie, chairman of the Tribal Council of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, takes a firm stand in opposition of Resolution 1-98 of the Governor’s Interstate Indian Council, which would denounce the use of Native American names and symbols by athletic teams. Billie explicitly states that the Seminole Tribe of Florida endorses FSU’s use of the Seminole name.
Max Osceola, acting chairman of the Tribal Council of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, voices support for the FSU football tradition of Osceola and Renegade during FSU Day at the Florida Legislature. “We don’t look at it as a mascot, we look at it as a representation of the Seminole Tribe,” he says in an Orlando Sentinel article dated April 3, 2003. “They work with us in representing our heritage. This is our tribe, and the tribe that is represented needs to have final say, and they need to respect that.”
“Unconquered,” a statue of a Seminole Indian astride a horse that stands approximately 31 feet from ground level to the tip of the warrior’s spear, is unveiled outside of FSU’s Doak Campbell Stadium. Stephen Reilly, an FSU alumnus who spearheaded the decade-long project, said that the statue “symbolically portrays the unconquered spirit of the Seminole people of the 19th century and the timeless legacy of that spirit that continues to burn bright into the future.”
On June 17, the Tribal Council of the Seminole Tribe of Florida unanimously approves a resolution supporting FSU’s continued use of the Seminole name and associated images. The resolution reads in part: “The Tribal Council of the Seminole Tribe of Florida wishes to go on record that it has not opposed and, in fact, supports the continued use of the name `Seminole’ and any associated head logo as currently endorsed by Florida State University. In addition, it states that the “Tribal Council further extends an invitation to Florida State University and its officials to continue their relationship and collaborate on the development of logos and nicknames that all members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and officials and students of Florida State University can be proud.”