When we found out that Cal State Long Beach was looking for a new nickname/mascot, we could not have been happier. The only thing “49ers” told you about the school is when it was founded (1949).

Now, entering its 70th year, it’s time for a nickname/mascot that reflects what it’s become. And we want YOU to tell us what that is. But please, no lions or tigers or bears, OK? We want a nickname/mascot that reflects the Cal State Long Beach experience: the people, the parking (or lack thereof), the fact that no one will look you in the eye, whatever, we want your names and your images.

To get you started, we’ve asked five terrific illustrators/artists to have a run at it. We’ll release one of their efforts each day this week. Have a look. Be inspired. Send us something. And Go [Nickname To Be Determined]!!!

Prospector Pete by Gary Musgrave.

Gary Musgrave, a CSULB instructor for the past six years in the Illustration/Animation department, chose to keep the name Prospector Pete, confident that the original mascot wasn’t made with any intentional negativity, but as a representation of the “courage and resolve of the Gold Rush era prospectors,” Musgrave said.

“As a culture, we are becoming much more aware of our actions and how those actions affect others,” Musgrave continued. “In this time of great division within our country, CSULB, as well as all institutions of education, need to lead by example with grace and harmony. It is our responsibility to look to the past and acknowledge our shortcomings then strive to grow and learn from them. Without the efforts of our forefathers, (even in their imperfections) we would not be where we are today, and I hope that future generations will see the errors we have neglected and have the courage to make those changes, too. To honor those before us, even in their faults, and to stand on the shoulders of giants, I chose to keep the name Prospector Pete. Rather than discard our history, I suggest that we evolve it.”

Musgrave’s mascot was inspired by the Mitred Conure Parrot, a species originally from Peru and Bolivia that made its home in Long Beach two decades ago after escaping a pet shop fire in Pasadena. “Essentially immigrants”, the birds have only added to the city’s diverse culture without damaging its ecosystem, he added.

“Think about it, Prospector Pete is an immigrant from a foreign land that has come to prospect our community because of all the opportunities that Long Beach has to offer; and because we welcome the new and we recognize that our strength comes from diversity,” Musgrave said.

Musgrave has been working as a freelance illustrator since 2009, with recent clients including Gorillaz, Stance, Disney and The New York Times. He’s a member of the mural and design team, The Draculas and is currently enrolled as an MFA student at CSULB. Learn more about Musgrave’s work on Instagram @garymusgrave.

Now’s your chance to dream up a new mascot. Check out the rules below:

Submission Requirements
  • Email your digital original or scanned image of your art to [email protected] (file must be in JPG or PNG format, 1200px across).
  • In your email, please include a bio, including your full name, age and what connection, if any, you have to CSULB and a description of your mascot, including its name and how it represents the university.
  • Mail or drop off original artwork or print (no larger than 16″x12″) to the Long Beach Post offices at 211 E. Ocean Boulevard, #400, Long Beach, CA 90802 (thanks to Linco Inc., we will be framing submissions to be displayed and judged by a panel during an art show in January; exact date TBD).
  • All submissions—digital image, physical artwork, artist bio and mascot description—must be turned in on or before Monday, Dec. 31.
  • Any questions? Email [email protected] and/or [email protected]

Disclaimer: The Post’s “CSULB new nickname/mascot contest” is not in partnership with or have any official connection to CSULB. Though we did approach specific artists/illustrators who attend or teach at CSULB about submitting their work and we intend on presenting the best submissions to appropriate parties at CSULB, no one in the CSULB administration has ever been consulted about the creation or conduct of the contest.

Go [Nickname to Be Determined]!!! The Post’s CSULB mascot contest, Day 1

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