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History of California State University, Bakersfield

Companion to the HRC exhibit

Early Administrators

In 1967, Dr. Paul Romberg became the founding president of the new state college, and he chose Dr. Phil Wilder, his Paul Rombergcolleague from Wabash College, to serve as vice president. To recruit administrators and educators, Dr. Romberg opened up temporary offices on California Ave and, in collaboration with Dr. Wilder, the first administrators were chosen. The first admin positions were filled by Benton F. Sheide (Library Director), George Hibbard (Staff and Student Services), Dr. Phil Wilder (Dean and Vice President). Ten prominent Kern County Citizens were also named to be on the Cal State Bakersfield Advisory panel: Haskel Wilson, Kenneth Croeg, Leo B. Hart, Ken Walter, George Laurence, Joseph Noriega, Morton Slater, Edward Richardson, and Robert Tucker. The new administrators were in charge of the bookstore, cafeteria, community relations, property acquisition, endowments grants, gifts, and scholarships.

How Rowdy Came to Campus

Ever wonder how Rowdy was picked as the CSUB mascot? According to former CSUB Athletic Director, Rudy Carvajal, the idea for the Roadrunner came from a group in Buttonwillow. Carvajal notes that “Vicky Houchin,” daughter of Dutch and Patty Houchin, “and...Jim Freyberger’s daughter...developed the nickname Roadrunners.” The bird was also the mascot for Buttonwillow Elementary School.In November 1970, the Roadrunner was presented to Cal State Bakersfield Students for consideration. There were, however, other mascots put up for consideration, thirty-three in all. Those included on the final ballot were the Aardvark, the Roadrunners, El Cid, the Cobra, and the Condors. We all know who won, but what you may not know is that the final vote was between the Roadrunner and El Cid with “Rowdy the Roadrunner” winning 368 to 157.

Rowdy the Roadrunner     Rowdy at the basketball game