Cal State Long Beach unveils “Elbee” its new shark mascot

Cal State Long Beach is premiering its new shark mascot, “Elbee,” ahead of the Fall 2020 semester.

The unveiling of “Elbee,” a gray colored shark donning the signature LB emblem on its chest, took place on social media on Monday, August 17, according to a press release from CSULB.

The university’s press release revealed that the new mascot’s name is a “phonetic reference to the letters “L” and “B” in “Long Beach.”

The debut comes more than a year after the end of a student-led process that asked for ideas for a new CSULB mascot, set semifinalist mascot concepts to a vote and finally a referendum vote, the press release said.

On May, 10 of last year, CSULB President Jane Close Conoley confirmed student vote for the shark, which had 53 % of the student vote.

“The choice of the shark aligns with the campus’ renowned Shark Lab and its proximity to the beach,” a press release from 2019 stated.

The mascot’s development was facilitated by an appointed representative committee during the 2019-2020 academic year.

“Elbee” was supposed to debut on campus during the Spring, but the unveiling was postponed when the university ceased in-person classes in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elbee’s unveiling comes after Prospector Pete, the university’s former mascot, was retired in 2018 after years of controversy. According to the student-run campus publication, The Daily 49er, a resolution passed by Associated Students Inc. kickstarted the retirement process by pointing out prospectors’ ties to the colonization of Indigenous communities. The university sits on top of Puvungna, a sacred site for the Tongva people, native of the land.

The Prospector Pete statue was erected in 1967 in the Liberal Arts 5 Plaza and was removed in late June 2020 and there are plans to relocate it to a courtyard in the new alumni center as reported by the Daily 49er.

The university’s team names will not be affected by the change in mascot and intercollegiate athletics program will continue as “Beach Athletics.”

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