You Gotta Have Friends … Valdar’s Birthday Bash includes other mascots from the Coastal Bend
Article by: Melinda Eddleman
But you got to have friends the feelings of so strong.
You got to have friends to make the day last long.
You’ve probably heard the 1970s tune “You Gotta `Have Friends” sung by Big Bird on Sesame Street or Donkey in the movie Shrek. On April 16, Valdar the Viking was surrounded by “friends,” who wished him a “Happy Birthday” to celebrate his introduction two years ago to the Del Mar College campus community and general public as the College’s “official” mascot.
Fellow mascots––including the Corpus Christi Hook’s Sammy the Seagull, Chick-fil-A’s Jersey Cow, Blue the Crime Dog with the Corpus Christi Police Department, Izzy the Islander from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Porky the Javelina from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and other organizational and high school mascots from the area––joined Valdar to celebrate his birthday and meet DMC students attending the party.
The lovable, huggable yellow-bearded character has appeared during elementary school visits, graduations, new student orientations and DMC Foundation fundraisers as the College’s ambassador to promote higher education.
The Viking was first recognized as Del Mar’s mascot in 1939 and remained a very strong image among alumni and students. Valdar the Viking 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.
Valdar has a very important job representing Del Mar College when he visits students currently in primary grades . These students are at an age critical to developing a ‘college-going’ perspective as they complete their education, and we want them to feel excitement and think about Del Mar College as they continue their educational journeys toward higher education and a successful future.
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 Valdar’s physical character. Raymond also is the original Phillie Phanatic, the well-known official mascot of the Philadelphia Phillies Major League Baseball team.
Valdar’s development also meant creating a backstory that defines his character and resonates with students’ own lives of searching for the right educational path. He landed in Corpus Christi and joined Del Mar’s campus family in April 2017.
To read Valdar’s story, visit http://www.delmar.edu/offices/campus-life/mascot/.
Over 20 vendors also attended the event, including Alamo Drafthouse, Chick-Fil-A, Corpus Christi FC Soccer Club, Corpus Christi Fellowship, Corpus Christi Hooks, Corpus Christi Ice Rays, Corpus Christi Museum of Science & History, Freedom Fitness, Funtrackers, Golds Gym, H-E-B, Hurricane Alley, I Love Kick Boxing, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company, ProForma, Safespace, Rocks Discount Vitamins, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Texas Asian Cultures Museum, Texas State Aquarium, U.S. National Guard, “Waitr” Delivery App and What-A-Burger.