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Following its win over Cal in the first-ever Big Game in 1892, the color cardinal was picked as the primary color of Stanford's athletic teams. White was adopted as a secondary color in the 1940s. On November 25, 1930, following a unanimous vote by the Executive Committee for the Associated Students, the athletic department adopted the mascot "Indian." The Indian symbol and name were later dropped by President Richard Lyman in 1972, after objections from Native American students and a vote by the student senate.
From 1972 to 1981, the official nickname was the Cardinals, a reference to the color, not the bird. During the 1970s, a number of suggestions were put forth as possible nicknames: Robber Barons (a sly reference to Leland Stanford's history), Sequoias, Trees, Railroaders, Spikes, Huns and Griffins. The last suggestion gained enough momentum to prompt the university to place two griffin statues near the athletic facilities. On November 17, 1981, school president Donald Kennedy declared that the athletic teams be represented by the color cardinal in its singular form. Stanford has no official mascot, but the Stanford Tree, a member of the Stanford Band wearing a self-designed tree costume, appears at major Stanford sports events. The Tree is based upon El Palo Alto, a redwood tree in neighboring Palo Alto that appears in the Stanford seal and athletics logo. Through the spring 2013 sports season, Stanford has won 118 national championships. Of these, 105 are NCAA team championships (their most recent being in women's water polo in 2014), second most among all universities (UCLA ranks first with 111). 61 of the championships are in men's sports (third behind UCLA and USC) and 44 are in women's sports, the most of any university. Stanford also holds the most NCAA D-I individual sport titles at 448 championships, followed by USC at 367, and Texas at 317.