October 19, 2004
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or mstepanovich@csub.edu

Students and alumni at California State University, Bakersfield will have a fight song and an alma mater by spring 2005, said Dan Gianoutsos, president of the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI), at CSUB.

While CSUB has had a successful athletics program since it opened 34 years ago, a fight song and alma mater have not been part of the tradition – until now. “I’m on a campaign to get our school a fight song and an alma mater because we’re due,” Gianoutsos said.

“Our alumni deserve an alma matter. I’m very proud of the school and feel an alma mater and fight song will increase school sprit and create a tradition. They’ll also help create school identity.”

To do that he’s begun a contest to pick a fight song and alma mater.

“Basically, the alma mater should reflect the love and pride we have for our school, while the fight song should be rah, rah, fire ‘em up!” he said. “I’ve spoken with (music professor) Doug Davis and with Curt Borden in the athletics marketing department about this. Jill Slaby, director of alumni relations, is excited about the prospect of a fight song and alma mater. I also met with President (Horace) Mitchell, and he and I set a goal to have a fight song and alma mater by the end of winter quarter.”

Here’s how the contest will work: entries may be submitted for either song by anyone on campus or in the community. Deadline for entries is Monday, Feb. 14, 2005, at 5 p.m. Once all entries are in ASI will host a free event for all students and alumni where the entries will be presented. Students will vote on which fight song they like best, and alumni will vote on which alma mater they like best. Prizes will be presented for just entering a song. The winners will receive two commemorative plaques presented by Mitchell. One of the fight song plaques goes home with the winner, and the other will be displayed in the student union. The alma mater winner will also take home a plaque, and other plaque will be displayed in the alumni office.

Slaby said she is thrilled with the effort. “I love it,” she said. “Having these songs will tighten the emotional ties alumni have for their university. Plus it gives us instant identity.”

Gianoutsos said he knows that coming up with the songs won’t be easy. “With a fight song, you need a good key where the average person can sing it. We want an original fight song, one not used at a different school. Similar is OK, but it’s still important to be uniquely Cal State’s. I feel an alma mater and fight song are important, especially since CSUB might be going Division I. My goal is for five years from now to have our fight song as a cell-phone ring tune.”

Who’s going to play the new songs? Gianoutsos is working on that, too. “We’re working on forming a student pep band,” he said. “Ideas are emerging, and by next year we plan to have one.”

To submit an entry for the fight song and/or alma mater, or for details, please call the Associated Students, Inc., office at (661) 664-2469 or 664-2418, or the Alumni Relations office at 664-3211.