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With the shark selected as new mascot, planning process now underway

Published May 15, 2019

President Jane Close Conoley today appointed a steering committee to determine the design and personality characteristics of the university's new mascot, following this past Friday’s ratification of a student-initiated vote that selected the shark.

The committee will include Michele Cesca, Vice President of University Relations and Development (chair); Jeffrey D. Cook, Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications; Andy Fee, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics; Ashlie Kite, Senior Associate Athletics Director; Leen Almahdi, Vice President, Associated Students; Kurt Brouwer, President, Alumni Association; Bruce “DD” MacRae, President, Long Beach Athletics Association; and Jessica Pandya, Chair, Academic Senate.

“We look forward to a thoughtful and inclusive process as we develop the look of new shark mascot,” said Cesca. “I’m confident that, in the end, this will be energizing symbol of school spirit and a great part of Beach Athletics.”

The recent student vote and ratification by Conoley concluded a months-long student-led process that first widely solicited ideas for a new mascot, sent semifinalist concepts to a broad community vote, and finally offered up three finalists for a student referendum that ended May 10.

The university's previous mascot, Prospector Pete, was retired in 2018. The term “‘49er,” however, remains an informal nickname and identifier for anyone affiliated with the university as an alumnus/alumna, employee, student, or supporter. The term references the institution's founding year and continues to hold significance as the university recognizes its 70th anniversary this year. Several organizations on campus also use the term, including the Daily '49er student newspaper and the '49er Foundation.

The university's intercollegiate athletics program will continue to use "Beach Athletics" and its teams the prefix moniker "Beach.” The baseball team also retains its longstanding informal nickname of the "Dirtbags." The shark will serve as the mascot only, and does not affect other marks and naming conventions.

It is anticipated that the new shark mascot will make its debut in late spring 2020.