Elbee’s unveiling comes after Prospector Pete, the university’s former mascot, was retired in 2018 after years of controversy. According to the student-run campus publication, The Daily 49er, a resolution passed by Associated Students Inc. kickstarted the retirement process by pointing out prospectors’ ties to the colonization of Indigenous communities. The university sits on top of Puvungna, a sacred site for the Tongva people, native of the land.
The Prospector Pete statue was erected in 1967 in the Liberal Arts 5 Plaza and was removed in late June 2020 and there are plans to relocate it to a courtyard in the new alumni center as reported by the Daily 49er.
The university’s team names will not be affected by the change in mascot and intercollegiate athletics program will continue as “Beach Athletics.”
Source: Signal Tribune Newspaper