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May 17, 2004

Awards and Honors

Readers Digest names UCSC Banana Slug top college mascot

UCSC’s diminutive Banana Slug is basking in the glory of a new honor following its selection as Best Mascot by Reader’s Digest magazine.

The May issue of the magazine noted that the Philly Phanatic has a devoted following, and has been called “the funniest team creature out there.”

“But for reminding fans that games are supposed to be fun, nothing beats the Banana Slug of the University of California, Santa Cruz,” the article said. “In 1965, students chose the bright yellow mollusk, native to the region, to protest the fierce athletic competition at America’s colleges. Win or lose, you still gotta laugh.”

The mascot ranking was part of the magazine’s “Americas 100 Best,” featuring everything from cookies to comedians. “But this is far more than just a list—it celebrates our country and our lives,” editor-in-chief Jacqueline Leo wrote to UCSC Athletic Director Greg Harshaw in a letter accompanying the “Best of America” certificate.

The Reader’s Digest honor is not the first for the Banana Slug, which has inched to the top of various college mascot competitions over the years.

For more information on the award-winning mollusk, see How the Banana Slug became UCSC's official mascot

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