Celebrate Kansas and Its 2022 NCAA Title With the "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk" Chant

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Apr. 5 2022, Published 11:30 a.m. ET

Clearly, it's not about how you start but how you finish.

On April 4, 2022, the Kansas Jayhawks made history by staging a 16-point comeback, the largest in national championship history, to defeat North Carolina and clinch their fourth NCAA Division 1 men's basketball championship title.

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Following the historic victory that makes this team one to remember, Kansas players and fans began the celebration by chanting "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk" — what does that mean? Here's everything we know about the university's sports mantra.

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What does "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk" mean?

When it comes to the Kansas Jayhawks, the only way to show your full-fledged support for the sports teams is by partaking in the tradition of shouting "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk."

According to KU Info, the chant originated in 1886 by the University Science Club. Chemistry professor E.H.S. Bailey created the first version, which consisted of repeating "Rah, Rah, Jayhawk, KU" three times.

Later, an English professor at the university suggested swapping the "rahs" with "Rock Chalk" to reference chalk rock. For those unaware, chalk rock is the name for "the limestone outcropping found on Mount Oread, site of the Lawrence campus."

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In a video discussing the history of the famous chant, E.H.S. Bailey's granddaughter, class of 1937 member Carolyn Bailey Bernekin, said she would "like to have new students know that this yell, the KU 'Rock Chalk' chant, is the first thing that brought KU together as a body." She added that "it's sung everywhere there's a group of students."

The "Rock Chalk" chant was performed at the 1920 Olympics for the King of Belgium.

According to the KC Kingdom, during the 1920 Olympics, the King of Belgium requested to hear what a typical college yell sounded like. All of the athletes assembled and agreed that the "Rock Chalk" chant was the only option. As a result, they gathered together and performed it for him.

Additionally, President Teddy Roosevelt deemed the "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk" chant as the greatest of all time — this makes sense, seeing as he was quite the science fanatic.

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