|February 25, 2005
Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or
Students and alumni at California State University, Bakersfield will get to vote for a fight song and alma mater during the Roadrunner basketball games in the Icardo Center on the CSUB campus March 4 and 5, said Dan Gianoutsos, president of the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI), at CSUB.
Gianoutsos and the Associated Students are conducting a contest to come up with a fight song and alma mater, something the school hasn’t had since its inception in 1970.
All told, about 30 entries were received since the contest began last fall. Entries were pared to two finalists in each category. Music professor Doug Davis is recording the tunes, which will be played during halftimes and between games Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5, Gianoutsos said. Fight-song finalists will be played Friday night for the games against CSU Chico, and the alma mater finalists will be played Saturday night for the games against CSU Stanislaus. The women tip-off at 5:30 each night, and the men at 7:30 p.m. The winning songs will be announced in late March.
“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.
Gianoutsos has been teaming up with Davis, and alumni relations director Jill Slaby on the project.
Although CSUB has had a successful athletics program since it opened, a fight song and alma mater have never been part of the tradition. “We’re long overdue,” Slaby said. “Everyone keeps saying we’re about 35 years late in doing this.”
Slaby said it has been an easy and rewarding experience for her because of the huge response from the community.
Determining the winners was a process in itself. The first committee consisting of music faculty received about 30 entries total, which they narrowed down to six in each category. The entries were then given to a finalist committee that included President Horace Mitchell, alumni Perry Eggleston and Marina Avalos-Kelley, and students Melissa Marrakech and Omar Correa. This group narrowed the finalists down to two in each category.
“The two in each category were so elite they stood far above the rest,” Gianoutsos said. He added that “all entries were evaluated fairly” and were judged on school spirit, catchiness (melody and lyrics), and whether they related to the campus.
“I feel that the alma mater and fight song will increase school spirit,” Gianoutsos said. “The fight song will help turn momentum at athletic events. Both songs will help increase school identity. I also feel that the competition in itself has been a great bridge from the campus into the community.”
Many people have been excited about starting this new tradition and there is even talk about forming a pep band to perform the fight song at games. “We have had tremendous success,” Davis said. “ We’ve received wonderful support from all CSUB fans and alumni. And they deserve to have a fight song and alma mater.”