Del Mar College Celebrates Viking’s First Birthday By Revealing His New Name
Article by: Melinda Eddleman
He landed at Del Mar College (DMC) on April 27. On Nov. 16, The Viking learned his new name during his first DMC Birthday Party. The campus and general community submitted over 850 nominations with students voting during brackets for The Viking’s new name out of the top 16 proposed by members of the campus and general community.
During the celebration, the College also announced the contestant who won the $1,000 prize for the selected name––Alexandra Lasso, a Health Information Technology major, who submitted the name “Valdar.” The College also recognized the other 15 bracket contestants during the party
The Viking needed a name that his DMC friends and fans could use to invite him out for pizza or to lead a campus tour. Born deep in Scandinavia, the name his family gave him has 15 letters, all consonants, and is impossible to pronounce in English or Spanish.
In September, Del Mar opened the nomination process to both the campus and general community to generate a pool of names. The College’s “Name the Viking” Committee––including DMC campus community members (students, faculty and staff), alumni and general community members––then reviewed and narrowed the nominations down to the top 16 names submitted for DMC’s newest family member.
Students voted during three brackets with the final bracket ending Saturday, Nov. 11, at 11:59 p.m. The time has come to reveal his new name.
“The ‘Name the Viking’ contest has provided another level of student engagement to expand their collegiate experience here on campus,” says Dr. Rito Silva, vice president of Student Affairs who led the College’s Mascot Development Committee. “We’re establishing new traditions, and The Viking is an important part of those activities and a symbol of pride for our students.”
The Viking was first recognized as Del Mar’s mascot in 1939 and has remained a very strong image among alumni and current students.
Just like the journey The Viking took to see the world, Del Mar College has embarked on a new chapter in our history, first, by introducing an official mascot to represent the College, and second, by giving this ambassador a new name for use by both the campus and general community.
The current Viking mascot is the first physical character the College has implemented and supports Del Mar’s expanded branding opportunities, including activities targeting young students in elementary through high school grades while they are at an age critical to developing a “college-going” perspective as they complete their primary education.
The College worked with Raymond Entertainment owner Dave Raymond, a character building expert who works with corporations, sports teams and institutions of higher education (both colleges and universities) all over the country, to develop The Viking. Raymond also is the original Phillie Phanatic, the well-known official mascot of the Philadelphia Phillies Major League Baseball team.
Since landing in April, The Viking has appeared during several functions including school visits, Del Mar graduation ceremonies, DMC Foundation fundraisers and the College’s new student orientations, among other activities.
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Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.