Like so many athletic traditions at Boston College, the adoption of the school colors started with the students. In the mid-1880's, BC students were passionate for their teams, but had no way of visually proclaiming where their loyalties lay.
As a story in The Heights on those early years noted, "A college man going to the games had no striped tie to wear. Nor was there any armband of any significant color that might let the wide world know that the `fair' rooters, screeching so loudly at anything at all, were followers of the Boston College team."
A committee of students, led by the school-spirited T.J. Hurley (class of 1885 and composer of "Alma Mater" and "For Boston"), was appointed to determine which hue would best represent BC. After considering the colors of rival Jesuit institutions - Holy Cross's purple, Fordham's maroon, Georgetown's blue and gray - the committee selected two Papal colors: maroon and gold. The student body unanimously approved.
The first use of the Boston College colors was in a banner sewn by women attending the New England Conservatory of Music, which was located near BC at that time - on James Street in the South End. The banner flew at every college event until its sudden and mysterious disappearance. But the Maroon and Gold continues as the rallying symbol for Boston College rooters everywhere.