There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but they’re no match for the smart and spirited dolphin.
The sharp witted mammal has been chosen as the mascot for the emerging Cal State Channel Islands campus, beating out the gray whale, the sea lion and the otter for the honor of being emblazoned on sweatshirts and license plate holders when the university opens in a few years on the site of the former Camarillo State Hospital.
The selection of the dolphin came together last week when hundreds of Ventura campus students signed petitions supporting the name. The petitions were delivered Friday to Channel Islands President Handel Evans, who quickly gave the name his blessing.
“I think it’s fantastic,” Evans said Tuesday. “There got to be a real movement for doing something about this and now we’ve put it to bed. I think what it does is signal that the campus is moving along.”
The selection had special meaning for Chumash Indians, who late last year nominated the dolphin as a symbol for the new campus and have long regarded the frisky mammal as a “spiritual protector.”