The University of California, Los Angeles — or UCLA — as it’s more famously called, is known around the world. And it’s certainly well-known to anyone who has an appreciation for higher learning, research and innovation. But there is a lot about the university that even graduates don’t know. Read on for some fun information and facts about UCLA:

  1. UCLA’s colors are “True Blue” and gold, and were chosen specifically to represent the state’s ocean and wildflowers.
  2. In its early history, the “Bruins,” UCLA’s football team, were known as the “Cubs.” This was because UCLA was still a younger extension of parent campus UC Berkeley.
  3. UCLA’s football team was also known as the “Grizzlies” at one point, but since University of Montana had prior rights to that name, UCLA changed it to “Bruins” in 1928.
  4. A live bear used to take the field at UCLA home football games until it was disallowed by the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
  5. The costumed version of the bear mascot, Joe Bruin, was born in the 1960s. In 1967, he was joined by Josephine Bruin at athletic events.
  6. The “Powder Keg Blue” uniforms for the UCLA football team were first chosen by coach Red Sanders in 1949. He even added a gold stripe around the shoulders to make his team uniforms stand out from other UC schools who all wore blue and gold as well.
  7. Cultural icon James Dean went to UCLA, as did legendary recording artist Jim Morrison of The Doors. Morrison graduated from UCLA’s film school and met fellow rocker and UCLA alum Ray Manzarek after graduation.
  8. Legendary coach John Wooden won ten national championships in basketball during his tenure at UCLA. No other school has won as many championships. Kentucky is second, with eight national championships
  9. UCLA was founded in 1919. It is the only leading research institution in the U.S. that was started in the 20th century.
  10. UCLA receives the most college applications than any university in the world. Each year, it sets a new record.
  11. Students at UCLA participate in “Midnight Yell” during finals week. They do just that — yell at midnight — as a break from studying.
  12. The Internet started at UCLA in 1969. The first Internet transmission was sent from UCLA to Stanford University. Right after it was sent, the computer sending it broke down.
  13. During rivalry week in 1993, a group of students covered parts of the Hollywood Sign to make it read “Go Bruins,” as an example of how big the crosstown rivalry is between UCLA and USC.
  14. The top five most popular undergraduate majors at UCLA are: biology, business economics, political science, psychology and psychobiology. Needless to say, UCLA students are deep thinkers!
  15. The UCLA campus wasn’t always located in Westwood Village. In fact, it was located at the current site of Los Angeles City College in Hollywood. UCLA moved to Westwood in 1929, beating out other cities like Burbank who tried to woo the university.
  16. The original four buildings on the Westwood Campus were Royce Hall, College Library (now called Powell Library), Physics-Biology Building (now Humanities), and Chemistry Building (now Haines Hall). This area is known as the “Royce Quad” or “Main Quad” by students.
  17. Ray Bradbury wrote his classic novel Fahrenheit 451 at Powell Library in 1951. He was looking for a quiet space outside of his home and took a liking to the Powell Library basement.
  18. UCLA is one of the smallest UC campuses (2nd smallest), because of its location in a dense part of a big town. UCLA is only 419 acres and just 10% of the size of the largest UC campus, UC Davis (5,300 acres).
  19. The road that spans Dickson Plaza is actually a bridge. Even though the ravine it spanned was eventually filled in with soil, to this day, it is still classified as a bridge structure. There’s even a “Bridge” sign located next to it.
  20. UCLA’s award-winning newspaper, the Daily Bruin, is the third most circulated newspaper in Los Angeles. It has been consistently ranked as the top college newspaper in the country.

We’ll send you off with another fun fact: the “Eight Clap.” This is UCLA’s signature hand clap that every past and present Bruin knows how to do — to show their love and support for UCLA.