Roar, Lion, Roar: A Celebration of Columbia Football

Games > Cheerleaders


The earliest Columbia cheerleaders appear in the 1917 Columbian yearbook. After the return of football (banned from 1905 to 1915), football was officially back and supported with great cheer. The team's enthusiastic supporters were fellow Columbia College students and as such, they were all male. By the 1950s Barnard student cheerleaders would perform during pep rallies and bonfires on campus but not at games. In 1969, the first all-female officially-approved team of 5 Barnard students made up the cheerleading squad. In the 1970s, female students from the School of General Studies also joined the squad. In 1984 (a year after Columbia College went co-ed), the cheerleading team also went co-ed recruiting men to help with the lifts and acrobatics.

Below, the two photos showcase the two eras of cheer: the all-male and the all-female teams. The modern cheerleading squad performed at Columbia‚Äôs 1983 homecoming game held at Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands. In the first year of co-education at Columbia College, homecoming was held off-site as Wien Stadium at Baker Field was under construction at the time. 

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