WHAT IS A TITAN?

What exactly is a Titan? “Why do you have an elephant for your mascot?” 

Old CSUF photo with an elephant Those are two of the first questions that arise when a Cal State Fullerton athletic team makes its inaugural visit to an area. While the relatively young institution carved out of the Orange County citrus groves may be too new for many traditions, there are some recognized legends. 

“It was the students’ decision in a vote,” explained Dr. Ernest Becker, founding Dean of Students, of the nickname “Titans.” “More than a hundred names were suggested, and the Student Council took on the job of narrowing the list down to a few for the purposes of an election. The vote was close, with Titans narrowly prevailing over Aardvarks and Rebels.” 

It was a unique student body, all upper division students until 1963. There were 453 of them, mostly female, in 1959, the first year of classes at what was then known as Orange County State College.

“Even when it was decided that ‘Titans’ would be the nickname, there was confusion as to what it represented,” said Becker. “I was thinking of a large mythological figure from Greek history, not unlike Tommy Trojan, but with perhaps straighter, more modern lines. In the same vein, the original dormitories were named Othrys Hall. There were others, however, who related the name to the Titan missile then in prominence.” 

Old CSUF Elephant photo Nothing official was done but then along came the “First Intercollegiate Elephant Race in Human History.” 

What began as a practical joke attracted elephants from universities around the nation and even Oxford from England. A crowd estimated at more than 10,000 people turned out on “Dumbo Downs” as the hastily graded field became known that spring afternoon in 1962. 

To publicize the event, a circus-like elephant called Tuffy the Titan was used and it began appearing on sweaters and notebook covers around the campus. With no other mascot, the elephant was unofficially adopted. Several revisions of the caricature have been made to create a more tenacious Tuffy, or Titus as he also was called in an attempt to make him Greek. The costume that brings the mascot to life also has changed. Tuffy even attracted a female Tiffy in 1992.  

The origin of the school colors also bears discussion. The students voted for royal blue and white, but the athletic equipment manager at the time thought orange was appropriate on uniforms for a school known as Orange County State College. The unofficial color was “adopted” and finally was formally acknowledged by the Athletics Council in 1987. A change to a navy blue was initiated in 1992 with a de-emphasis of the orange.

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Total Slides 4 : Active Index 1 : Last Slide Divs 3

-2
Tue Feb 20
6:00 PM
Nevada
at Cal State Fullerton
-2
Wed Feb 21
7:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
at UC Riverside
TV: ESPN3
-2
Thu Feb 22
5:00 PM
San Diego
at Cal State Fullerton
-2
Thu Feb 22
7:00 PM
UC Riverside
at Cal State Fullerton
-3
Fri Feb 23
All Day
at MPSF Championships
Seattle, Wash.
-2
Fri Feb 23
7:00 PM
Houston
at Cal State Fullerton
-3
Sat Feb 24
All Day
at MPSF Championships
Seattle, Wash.
-2
Sat Feb 24
2:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
at Cal Poly
-2
Sat Feb 24
3:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
at San Francisco
-2
Sat Feb 24
4:00 PM
Houston
at Cal State Fullerton
-2
Sat Feb 24
5:00 PM
LIU Brooklyn
vs. Cal State Fullerton
@ Cathedral City, Calif.
Mary Nutter Classic
-2
Sat Feb 24
7:00 PM
Long Beach State
at Cal State Fullerton
TV: ESPN2
-2
Sat Feb 24
7:30 PM
Cal State Fullerton
vs. Mississippi St.
@ Cathedral City, Calif.
Mary Nutter Classic
-2
Sun Feb 25
10:00 AM
Cal State Fullerton
at Santa Clara
-2
Sun Feb 25
11:30 AM
Cal State Fullerton
vs. California
@ Cathedral City, Calif.
Mary Nutter Classic
-2
Sun Feb 25
12:00 PM
Houston
at Cal State Fullerton
-2
Sun Feb 25
2:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
vs. Arizona St.
@ Cathedral City, Calif.
Mary Nutter Classic
-2
Tue Feb 27
6:00 PM
UCLA
at Cal State Fullerton
No Event
No Event
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