In 1890 Syracuse University became the first college to adopt a single official color, after rose pink and pea green didn't go over so well. In a typical display of university logic, orange was chosen as the sole color in reference to the golden apple of Hesperides. The sports teams thus became the Orangemen and Orangewomen, though the official mascot, Otto the Orange, wasn't born until the mid 1990s.
Amidst a flood of cultural sensitivity the university community affirmed Otto the Orange as its official mascot in 1997. Chancellor Kenneth Shaw proclaimed "though some might say we sacrificed a more powerful image with this decision, I believe that, with the orange, we retain a unique position in college athletics."
The university's former mascot was the Saltine Warrior, a Native American brave. So named because of the city's long association with salt mining and production and because Syracuse is the home of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. A heroic and proud statue on the university quad sculpted by Louise Harriet Meyers is all that remains of the former mascot. The change was prompted in 1978 by the complaints of Native American students, who found the warrior offensive.