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Fordham University History: The Toils and Troubles of Rameses

Everything you ever wanted to know about its history, people, places ... and maybe even a few things you didn't.

The Years of the Ram 1925-1978

RAMSES DYNASTY 1925-1978

The Fordham Ram

In the 1890's, the sports cheer of the Fordham men was "One-Dam, Two-Dam, Three-Dam, Fordham!"  This was brought to the attention of the Jesuit fathers and the word "dam" was changed to "ram". In 1906 J. Ignatius Coveny composed "The Fordham Ram" and the official name of the sports teams was changed from "The Rose Hills" to "The Rams".

 The first live ram moved onto campus in 1925. Named Ramses, a live mascot reigned until the late 1970s. Twenty-eight animals held this royal position and students were assigned to be Ram Watchers. The last ram, Ramses XXVIII, died in April 1978.

Weighing over 160 pounds, it took at least five students to bath the animal. Rising food and medical costs plus an increasing need for security was becoming a financial drain for the university. Following the death of Ramses XXVIII the live animal was replaced by a student dressed in a ram costume.

 

Courtesy of the Fordham University Archives

Rameses I

Rameses I 

First live mascot in 1925. Kidnapped by rival school and taken to a slaughterhouse.

Courtesy of the Fordham University Archives

Rameses II

Rameses II

Kidnapped by rival school and taken to a slaughterhouse.

Courtesy of the Fordham University Archives

Rameses III

Rameses III

Very aggressive animal. He repeatedly ran away from campus and attacked New York Central trains. The result was many delays and angry train conductors. In December 1927 he was sentenced to death and executed by the Fordham Rifle Team.

Courtesy of the Fordham University Archives

Rameses IV

Rameses IV

Enjoyed cigarettes. Eating them, not smoking them.

Courtesy of the Fordham University Archives

50 Years later, a confession and a break in the Ramnapping case

Read this late breaking news from the Fall 2013 issue of The Ram.

A song and a video

Rameses V-VII

Rameses V-VII

Little is known about these three rams except they died early in life


Courtesy of the Fordham University Archives

Rameses VIII

Rameses VIII

The first Rameses to grow old and die of natural causes. Kidnapped by NYU and taken to a Connecticut farm. New York State troopers picked him up at the state lines and he was escorted to the game by four squad cars and six motorcycles, sirens blaring. He arrived just in time for halftime. He also made headlines in 1941 when he escorted models at the British Relief Society's fashion show.

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Courtesy of the Fordham University Archives

Rameses IX-XVI

Rameses IX-XVI

Little is known about their reign.

Courtesy of the Fordham University Archives

Rameses XVI

Rameses XVI

Died after being ram-napped in 1955.

Courtesy of the Fordham University Archives

Rameses XVIII

Rameses XVIII 

Homeless after his shed burned down under mysterious circumstances. He was the first to move into a two bedroom with running water Ram House built by Kelly Bricklayers, a business owned by Princess Grace's father. He died of alcohol related liver disease in 1961.

Courtesy of the Fordham University Archives

Rameses XIX

Rameses XIX 

While the Ram Watchers attended Mass, he was kidnapped and dyed green by Manhattan College students. He survived but ran up many medical bills with re-occurring colds and flu. Ram shares were introduced during his reign. For $50 per share, the money was be used to support the ram’s upkeep.

 



Courtesy of the Fordham University Archives

Rameses XX

Rameses XX

Reigned in the mid 1960’s. Nickname "Fatty".

 


Courtesy of the Fordham University Archives

Ramses XXI

Ramses XXI will go down in history as the most kidnapped ram. He spent more of his mascot career at rival campus' than he did at Fordham.

 

Recent Ram Sightings

A visiting Rameses made an appearance at Rose Hill during Mario Gabelli's guest lecture in December 2011. To read all about the furry friend's visit click on the image below!