Colorado State Programs & Students

The Sweet Life of CAM the Ram

Updated February 2010

The life of a university mascot can be pretty sweet. And for a rough and tough Rambouillet ram, his crib is pretty cozy too. Oh, and have you seen his wheels? Escorted by an entourage of specially-selected university students, CAM the Ram, the official mascot of Colorado State University, seems to have no complaints.

CAM the Ram posting on rocks.

CAM the Ram is a domesticated breed of sheep known as a Rambouillet.

Where does the name CAM come from? It stands for Colorado Agricultural and Mechanical College, or Colorado A&M, the name of the school in 1946. At that time, alumnus William Simpson ('46) won a contest to name the bighorn sheep as the official school mascot. Today, CAM is a domesticated breed of sheep known as a Rambouillet and more than 20 CAMs have represented Colorado State.

Busy social life

When not making appearances at CSU football games, local schools, or numerous events around the state, CAM spends his days in a 20-by-75-foot pen, shared with a younger CAM-in-training. His daily eating habits amount to about 4.5 pounds of a ground alfalfa and flaked corn mixture, savored with all eight of his bottom teeth – yep, it's true, he has no top teeth!

And his sweet ride – a 35-foot Featherlite aluminum trailer donated by the Maxey and Henry families – sports a custom paint job befitting CAM's Colorado State status. CAM relaxes in the rear, temperature-controlled compartment (okay, a pen) with a rubber floor to cushion his ride. An equally impressive Ford truck donated by Rocky Mountain and Denver Metro Ford Dealers is the lead vehicle that pulls CAM’s trailer.

CAM and the Ram Handlers

(8 images)

CAM and the Ram Handlers lead the CSU football team onto Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium.

CAM and his Ram Handlers prepare to charge across the field on game day.

CAM arrives at one of his football game appearances.

Young Ram fans meet and greet CAM.

CAM the Ram models a CSU hat.

CAM the Ram enjoys posing with his adoring fans.

CAM the Ram visits kids at a park in the Denver area on March 13, 2008.

CSU fans admire CAM during a pep rally in downtown Denver.

Join CAM's entourage

Ram Handlers are Colorado State students who train and handle CAM the Ram for public appearances. Currently, eight dedicated Colorado State students commit to two to three hours per week to CAM duties. Meet CAM's current peeps (hometowns' listed):

  • Kendra Bolton (South Burlington, VT)
  • Ryan Finnegan (LaJara, CO)
  • Stacie Grannum (Kingman, AZ)
  • Angela Iacolucci (Dayton, WY)
  • Anne Johnson (Colorado Springs, CO)
  • Jim Magnuson (Eaton, CO)
  • Sina Parsaye (Colorado Springs, CO)
  • Sarah Short (Albuquerque, NM)
  • McKenzie Simon (Denver, CO)
  • Jon Wall (Greeley, CO)

Mike Van Houten, a former Ram Handler (business management, '09), says the opportunity to work with CAM has created memories he will always cherish.

If Ram Handling is not your thing, join CAM on Facebook. It's easy to be a fan - just visit his page or login to your account and search for CAM the Ram.

Experience of a lifetime

"Being a Ram Handler is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. How many students could say that they have had the chance to lead the football team onto the field, or have been able to network with the many distinguished and diverse alumni on a personal level? Being a Ram Handler has enhanced my leadership skills, communication skills, teamwork skills, and agricultural knowledge," Van Houten said. "It's an experience I will cherish for a lifetime!"

Kraig Peel, assistant professor of animal science and faculty advisor for the Ram Handlers, is looking for a few more Handlers for the coming year. Applications are being sought from CSU students in any academic major who meet the following minimum qualifications:

  • Enrolled student in good academic standing
  • Schedule that permits two to three hours per week dedicated to Ram Handler duties
  • Willing to work weekends
  • Physical ability to run with CAM the Ram
  • Enjoy working with the public
  • Excellent character befitting a Colorado State University ambassador
  • Enthusiastic Ram Pride

Apply to become a Ram Handler before May 1 (pdf)

Submit a request to schedule CAM for an appearance

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