How the Elephant Became Our Mascot

The choice of the elephant as Cal State Fullerton’s mascot sprang from a May 1962 event that captured the world’s attention:

“The First Intercollegiate Elephant Race in Human History.”

To engage students in college life, student leaders challenged other colleges and universities to enter an elephant in a campus contest, never suspecting the deluge of interest that would follow.

Ten thousand spectators watched 15 pachyderms lumber across “Dumbo Downs.” Media coverage was intense, with the race broadcast worldwide. The Associated Press ranked the story in the year’s top 10.

This is the history of how the elephant became the mascot of California State University, Fullerton.

For more information, contact Greg Paules, Director of Development, Athletics, at 657-278-4516 or

California State University, Fullerton • Office of Athletics • Titan Athletics Club
P.O. Box 6810 • 800 North State College Boulevard • Fullerton, CA 92834