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Why Tennessee Tech teams are called the Golden Eagles

The Tennessee Tech Athletic Department unveiled a new brand on Aug. 31, 2006, with an all-new set of logos for the Golden Eagles.

The brand is new, but the tradition remains -- the name Golden Eagles. How did TTU adopt the name?

In the first quarter of this century, Tennessee Polytechnic Institute was a tiny school, located in the rugged, mountainous Upper Cumberland region where Golden Eagles were plentiful, soaring above the lush, upland forests. It's easy to understand how those early students and faculty could narrow their choices for their athletic team's nicknames to "Golden Eagles" or "Mountaineers."

On February 14, 1925, the nickname "Golden Eagles " was officially adopted. The school newspaper, The Oracle, printed a story that outlined the efforts of a committee to suggest several possible nicknames to Athletic Association members for their consideration. The two most popular names were "Golden Eagles" and "Mountaineers," and the association, by a vote of 139-18, proudly declared its preference.

It wasn't until 27 years later that a tangible mascot found its way to the campus. Several Tech students braved a driving night rainstorm to pilfer a huge block-tin eagle statue from the charred ruins of a resort hotel in Monteagle. They painted the creature - with a wingspan of over six feet - a glistening gold, and suspended it from the rafter for public inspection at the following day's basketball game in Memorial Gym.

Then-Governor Frank G. Clement, a lifelong friend of the hotel owner, was in Cookeville to speak . He worked out a compromise between his friend and the school students, who wanted to retain the eagle as their mascot.

Over the years, a wide variety of artwork and drawings have been used to represent the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles. Some of those include a drawing which appeared in media guides in the mid 1970s, and a cartoon-style mascots in the early 1980s that was dubbed ‘the purple chicken” by Tech students.