California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) may be youthful, but it’s rich in tradition

We honor the history and culture of the land where our campus is situated through:

  • Our colors: We chose red and silver—red to be consistent with the tradition of our region and silver for our mascot, the dolphin.

  • Our mascot: To honor the heritage and culture of the Chumash Indians, we chose the tribe’s cherished dolphin as our mascot.

  • Our commencement: Our inaugural commencement ceremony in 2003 launched traditions, such as:

    • Sounding of a conch shell by a Chumash elder signals our recognition of building on the knowledge base of the indigenous people who first inhabited this area.

    • Striking a ship’s bell by an honored staff member, loaned by Naval Base Ventura County, to signal the beginning of the ceremonies.

    • Carrying the Light of Learning by an honorary marshal, to symbolize the University’s commitment to a life of the mind and the central role played by our outstanding faculty

    • Welcome in multiple languages, signifying CSUCI’s commitment to graduating students with multicultural and international perspectives.

    • Passing through an arch, symbolizing graduates entering a new phase of life.

    • Carrying the CSUCI mace, which was carved from native walnut by local artists. Two dolphins dancing on waves, honoring the Chumash crossing the Rainbow Bridge to get to the mainland, top the mace.

    • Peeling of the carillon bells from the Bell Tower, the centerpiece of campus, after the final degree is awarded.

  • Our alma mater: We continue to celebrate CSUCI through song every day at 11:55am.

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