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University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697
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Excerpted from Instant University by Samuel Clyde McCulloch.
Tradition called for the selection of a bear, in the spirit of UCI's august sister campuses. But two water polo players (Pat Glasgow and Bob Ernst) suggested an outrageous alternative - the Anteater, inspired by a character in the Johnny Hart cartoon "B.C." The idea gained momentum through an imaginative campaign led by student and cheerleader Schuyler Bassett III, which included bumper stickers, posters, and decals.
Based on its "originality, uniqueness and relevance to UC" (the anteater is actually an antbear), the unusual beast won 56 percent of the vote in an election held in November 1965, defeating the other nominees (eagle, unicorn, golden bear, seahawk and "none of these"). The final selection surprised many, but somehow seemed appropriate.
The fearsome UCI Anteaters unveiled their war cry (in the strip, the anteater's tongue impacting its prey is accompanied by a resounding "ZOT!"). At the first intercollegiate athletic event, a water polo match against Cal Poly Pomona, it was a strange yell, unsettling but effective. UCI won the match 22 to 6.
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