Can you imagine? “Ride high, mules!” Well, neither can we here at Special Collections and Archives. Be glad that the Class of 1925 determined the mustang a better fit for their mascot.
Cal Poly, established in 1901, did not have a mascot until 1925 when the San Luis Obispo Elks Club donated a large, silk, green and gold flag. Because it was customary to have an emblem on the school flag, Cal Poly students had to decide between two competing mascots: the mustang or the mule. The Mustang won the majority vote, and has continued to be the prideful namesake of this institution.
It wasn’t until June of 1953 that Cal Poly received a physical representation of that namesake, the Mustang mascot. The first mascot suit, donated by the Cal Poly Circle K, looked quite different than the caricature we know and love today.
For better or for worse, the Mustang mascot, nicknamed ‘Musty’ in 1962, saw many different changes.
Now that you have seen the evolution of our beloved mascot, which suit was your favorite? Do you like the current rendition of Musty, or would you like to see the return of one of his “ancestors”? Let us know in the comments![Featured image: Musty the Mustang and friends at Homecoming, circa 1990. See the image here: digital.lib.calpoly.edu/rekl-3576]