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From Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:


Cheering for athletic teams and the need for a cheerleader was mentioned in the Brunonian in 1884, which noted, “The sympathy and approval of a college rung out in a ‘three-times-three’ does much in any inter-collegiate competition, to nerve the representatives of that college for a victorious struggle,” and went on to suggest, “Is there any good reason why our men should not sit together and cheer together instead of dividing into four or five small groups, each keeping different time from the others? If the men are together and follow the leader, there is no need of the ragged cheer we have heard at some of the recent games,” and to warn against such rude behavior as applauding the errors of the adversary or yelling to make the catcher drop the ball. Cheers were included in the student handbook for 1898-99, introduced because “On numerous occasions the college man is called upon to join in, or perhaps lead the cheering.” The six “principal” cheers the students were asked to learn were mostly variations on “Rah! Rah!” and “Brown! Brown!” with the exception of “Hicky, Hicky Hoorah!” and “Ki Yi Yi Yi!” which was later shortened to “Ki Yi Yi! and has continued to be a distinctive Brown cheer. Before the football game with Dartmouth in November 1901, the Cammarian Club, fearing that Brown would be outcheered on its own field, held the first pre-game pep rally. The Celebration Committee of the Cammarian Club took charge of the cheerleaders, and in 1911 introduced tryouts for members of the junior class. The 1919 Liber Brunensis pictured three varsity cheerleaders, wearing white v-necked sweaters and neckties. The cheering squad grew from five in 1936 to seven in 1938 to nine in 1938, while adding acrobatices to their performance. The uniform had changed to crew neck sweaters. Besides appearing at the games, the cheerleaders also took charge of planning the Rally Dance, which opened the social activities of the academic year. In the 1970s women joined the previously all male cheerleading squad.

The above entry appears in Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell, copyright 1993 by the Brown University Library. It is used here by permission of the author and the University and may not be copied or further distributed without permission.

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