Spirit and Traditions | Spirit and Traditions | TJC

Spirit and Traditions

Since its founding in 1926, TJC  has exemplified spirit and tradition as a post-secondary institution. A rich history of student life involvement sets TJC apart from other two-year colleges and fosters an ever-growing Alumni Association.

National recognition also has helped establish the College's Spirit and Traditions:




The Drumbeat starts Monday before Homecoming and doesn't stop until kickoff.

The drumbeat is one of TJC’s oldest and proudest traditions, representing the heartbeat of the College.

The drumbeat tradition began in 1948 and has remained an unbroken TJC Homecoming Week custom ever since.

TJC students, faculty and staff volunteer for time slots to keep the drum beating 24 hours a day from the Monday morning of Homecoming Week until Saturday’s football game kickoff.

According to TJC lore, if the drumbeat remains constant until Saturday’s game, the Apaches will win; but if it stops, they will lose.

The tradition has been held for the past 18 years, except when the drumbeat stopped and the game ended in a tie. The weather was also a major factor in that game. It hailed and then came a flash flood, and the game was delayed three times due to the lightning.


Fight Song and Alma Mater

Fight Song Alma Mater
Sons of Black and Gold
Will you let the foe,
Take from us the victory?
Hear our warriors’ chorus,
Sweep the line before us
Carry on to victory.
Onward, Onward –
Charge against the foe.
Forward, Forward –
Apache banners go.
Sons of Mars and Thunder
Rip that line asunder
Carry on to victory.
All Apaches, men and maidens
Raise your voices high
Till the echoes heavy laden
Swell up to the sky!
On to Honor! On to Glory!
On to Victory!
Hail to thee our Alma Mater!
Hail to T-J-C!




Rim March

Rim march

Rim March

The Rim March began in 1948 and has been an unbroken tradition. As best can be determined, the Rim March started as a way to give a psychological advantage to our football team, much as the Native Americans did in the old westerns, silhouetting themselves on the canyon to intimidate the cowboys, so the Apache Band and Belles march the rim to show the Black and Gold. The march takes place approximately 45 minutes before kickoff.

Ramey Tower has stood watch over the TJC central campus for more than 60 years.

Spirit and Traditions Ramey Tower

When it was built next to Jenkins Hall in 1956, the tower was visible from Broadway Avenue and was illuminated in gold to inform the community when the Apache football team won their games.

The tower was upgraded in 1996 thanks to a joint project initiated by the TJC Student Senate and the Tom Ramey Jr. family. The project included a new lighting system, physical restoration, and a chime system that sounds at the top of each hour and plays music every day at 5 p.m.

The following year, the Student Senate held a contest to design a stained-glass window for the tower. The TJC Art Department helped construct the window, which captures many campus traditions, including the original logo; the school flower, the yellow rose; the Apache; and the first building, Jenkins Hall.

Today, Ramey Tower is one of the foremost symbols of TJC and continues to serve as the campus beacon, shining its light over TJC to highlight the important institutional value of Excellence.  

Apaches and the Tyler community will see Ramey Tower lit up, primarily in gold. For significant events, the College President may approve the following:

  • A national academic and/or athletic championship
  • A homecoming football victory
  • Founder’s Day – Sept. 17
  • Or other events at the discretion of the College President

Ramey Tower may also be lit in other colors to demonstrate support of our nation, state, or regional achievement. 

Please note that the lighting of Ramey Tower is not intended for personal, political, or divisive purposes.