|March 28, 2005
Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or
An alumnus and a student won the alma mater and fight song contests respectively at California State University, Bakersfield.
Bill Ingram, who graduated from CSUB in 1976 and earned his master’s degree in educational administration from CSUB in 1995, was named the winner of the alma mater contest. His submission, titled “Long Live CSUB,” received 57 percent of the votes during weeklong voting March 4-11.
Gwen Wilcox, a senior music education major at CSUB, submitted the winning entry in the fight song contest with a song titled “CSUB Victory!” which received 58 percent of the ballots.
Ingram and Wilcox were notified Monday afternoon.
“Oh my god! You’re kidding me!” Ingram said when Dan Gianoutsos informed him that his entry had won. “Oh, man, you’ve made my day!”
Wilcox was equally excited. “No kidding!” she exclaimed when Gianoutsos called her. “That’s very cool! I’m honored. That’s a neat thing!”
A native of Porterville, Ingram has been band director at Tulare Union High School since he first graduated from CSUB in 1976. His wife also graduated from CSUB; she entered with the very first class at CSUB in the fall 1970.
He said when he heard about the contest he it hadn’t occurred to him that CSUB didn’t have a fight song or alma mater. He decided to write his entries during the winter break in December, and then submitted them on Jan. 6.
“We’re Roadrunners,” he said. “We love the university. We’re really attached to it and always have been. … I just sat down over a few days, a week maybe, wrote it. I came up with the music first and then added the words. I envisioned everyone with hands together swaying back and forth – a lot of emotion in it.”
A senior music education major, Wilcox looked to other fight songs for inspiration. “I kind of took motivation from other fight songs, the spirit and tempo, and translated that into a melody,” she said.
She said she was relaxing one day when suddenly “it came to me – the melody and lyrics. I thought, ‘Good grief, I’ve got to write this down and enter it.” She envisioned herself at a game and “just tried to come up with something inspiring and motivating, something to get the crowd going.”
Both Ingram and Wilcox credited CSUB music professors with helping them.
“I credit a lot of my success to Gordon Mehling (who recently retired from CSUB),” Ingram said.
“Doug Davis has been really supportive of me,” Wilcox said.
All told, 30 entries – 17 for the fight song and 13 for the alma mater – were received since the contest began last fall. Entries were pared to two finalists in each category. Music professor Doug Davis recorded the tunes, which were played during halftimes and between games during CSUB’s final two basketball games March 4 and 5. Balloting continued on the campus the following week.
“The process personally has been very demanding,” Gianoutsos said. “I have worked hard to make sure the process is organized, structured, and professional.”
Those who entered the contest will receive a certificate of commendation. The winners will be rewarded with two commemorative plaques presented by CSUB President Horace Mitchell at the 35th Anniversary Celebration and Presidential Inauguration on May 20. A copy of the fight song plaque will be displayed in the student union and a copy of the alma mater plaque will be displayed in the alumni office.
“We’re very proud of Bill and Gwen’s achievements,” CSUB President Horace Mitchell said. “Their creations are now part of the tradition at CSUB, and will live on with the university forever.”