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Coastline College adopts ‘new’ dolphin mascot as part of 45th anniversary celebration

Coastline College is celebrating its 45th anniversary by launching its new mascot, the Dolphins.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Coastline College is head over fins with excitement to celebrate its upcoming 45th year in operation since the campus opened in 1976.

The community college — with its satellite campuses in Westminster, Garden Grove and Newport Beach — recently announced it will be formally adopting campus mascot Fin the Dolphin.

Coastline President Vince Rodriguez said that although the campus informally began being used in 2006, the dolphin never really became a part of the campus brand since it doesn’t have any sports teams.

Rodriguez said the dolphin mascot was chosen again by students when the college first began thinking about rebranding in 2019.

“It was primarily used for our mascot costume, which would be out and seen at campus events,” Rodriguez said, adding that dolphins weren’t reflected in the campus logo or even in its marketing. “I would think that in the past, many of our students didn’t even know about the dolphins being our mascot because we didn’t have that presence online digitally and socially.”

“Fin kind of evolved [as a name], but it stuck. It’s one of those things that as soon as someone started calling the dolphin Fin, everyone did,” Rodriguez said. “We had a costume, so we would have people that would be in the costume at events and have fun with that. If you didn’t come to an event, you didn’t get to see our dolphin and you didn’t interact with it through our materials, you wouldn’t know.”

The adoption of Fin marks the beginning of a new identity for the campus as it heads into its 45th anniversary and is emblematic of what Rodriguez said he believes the students and faculty feel.

“Having a symbol that people can recognize is an emotional connection that students form with their school. This logo will embody the spirit, pride, and identity amongst all members of our Coastline family, bringing the community together in a unifying experience,” director of marketing and communications Dawn Willson said in a statement announcing the mascot.

The college won’t be celebrating this milestone this year with any on-campus celebrations out of an abundance of caution as it relates to the pandemic, but Rodriguez said the hope is that they’ll be able to celebrate the school’s 50th anniversary in another five years.

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