#TBT: Tales from the Vault

In this week’s Throwback thursday (#TBT), we take a look at the first column of Archivist Chris Livingston’s Tales from the Vault and some of the materials from the Archives:


Welcome to the inaugural edition of “Tales from the Vault,” a quarterly column that will highlight unique items found in the Walter W. Stiern Library Archives. Today’s interesting find comes to us from a recent inquiry about how CSUB adopted its mascot, the Roadrunner. According to former CSUB Athletic Director, Rudy Carvajal, the idea for the Roadrunner came from a group in Buttonwillow. Carvajal notes that “Vicky Houchin,” daughter of Dutch and Patty Houchin, “and…Jim Freyberger’s daughter…developed the nickname Roadrunners.” The bird was also the mascot for Buttonwillow Elementary School.

In November 1970, the Roadrunner was presented to Cal State Bakersfield Students for consideration. There were, however, other mascots put up for consideration, thirty-three in all. Those included on the final ballot were the Aardvark, the Roadrunners, El Cid, the Cobra, and the Condors. We all know who won, but what you may not know is that the final vote was between the Roadrunner and El Cid with “Rowdy the Roadrunner” winning 368 to 157.

This story and many others are waiting to be told. If you want to learn more about the history of CSUB the Archives has many sources at your disposal. Come visit us! You never know what you’ll discover!

Inset: page 36 of the 1971 yearbook, Treillage, featuring some of the contenders and Rowdy’s proud victory.


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