Guns up, baby

Bernardo Galvan BS, Katherine G. Holder BBA

Corresponding author: Bernardo Galvan
Contact Information:
DOI: 10.12746/swrccc.v10i43.1031

College hand signals, typically used to convey university pride at collegiate sporting events, have been used for almost a century.1 The first college hand signals were thought to have originated with Pinky Downs at Texas A&M University in the 1930s, and the practice quickly spread to other universities in the Southwest Conference.1 In 1961, L. Glenn Dippel, a proud alumnus of Texas Tech University (TTU), began promoting a hand sign for the fans of his alma mater.2 The sign was produced by extending a hand’s index finger and thumb while carefully flexing the medial three digits into a fist, as seen in the ultrasound image. L. Glenn and his wife, Roxie, termed the symbol “guns up”, and it is now used to convey Texas Tech pride and values at athletic events and social gatherings. This symbol can represent a simple “hello” between TTU fans or can be raised gallantly as a symbol of achievement and victory in the stands, at graduation ceremonies, and with podium presentations. Some fans believe that this symbol is so powerful that it may actually be taught to offspring while they are still in the womb (Figure). The image displays a fetus, at 20 weeks gestation, proudly displaying his “guns up” for ultrasound imaging.

Figure 1

Figure. Abdominal ultrasound of 20-week fetus displaying appropriate tone through usage of “guns up” hand symbol.


  1. Nye N. The tradition of college hand signs infographic. KwikBoost. Published September 18, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2022.
  2. State of Texas and Texas Tech University. Texas Tech University. TTU. Accessed March 6, 2022.

Article citation: Galvan B, Holder KG. Guns up, baby. The Southwest Respiratory and Critical Care Chronicles 2022;10(43):63
From: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, Texas
Submitted: 3/6/2022
Accepted: 3/26/2022
Conflicts of interest: none
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.