Gumby throws a party for his 36th birthday

Kennedy Lum, Reporter

Enormous Luther, also known as Gumby, was gifted to California Lutheran University from students of the class 1964. However, the statue was not completed until 1986. Gumby is a statue that symbolizes 16th-century monk Martin Luther and his strong values of faith, integrity and determination. 

Gumby’s 36th Birthday was celebrated in Peppergrove Park on campus, and those in attendance wrote a happy birthday card to Gumby, while partaking in complementary cupcakes and sandwiches.

Cal Lutheran’s Executive Assistant-VP Student Affairs & Student Leadership Evette Anguiano said that Gumby is the spirit of the university.

“More than anything, when we think of Gumby, we think of pride of CLU, we think of how excited we are to be here as students and succeeding,” Anguiano said. “He brings success to the students.”

Anguiano, part of the graduating class of 2020, talked about the effect that COVID-19 has had on this yearly event.

“It’s been a while, but I did hear stories that at some point we were always celebrating Gumby’s arrival to CLU here, it’s a tradition that got lost. The pandemic had a little bit to do with that, but it’s time to bring it back,” Anguiano said.

Even though Cal Lutheran’s official mascots are the Kingsmen and Regals, students and faculty alike said that Gumby is the heart of the university.

Junior Alexis Jones said Gumby being a hallmark, and popular photo location for first-years and graduating seniors.

“I was so excited to be on campus with Gumby because everyone talks about him, and he’s so cool,” Jones said. “I am excited to celebrate Gumby because he represents Cal Lu so well.”  

Jones wore a purple shirt with a golden Gumby on it for the event—the mascot is a prominent figure on Cal Lutheran merchandise. Many guests at the birthday bash were wearing Gumby paraphernalia to show school pride and their love for the statue.

Cal Lutheran senior Brianna Beedle said that Gumby watches over everything on campus. Beedle said that Gumby is an important part of the university, which was evident in the big turnout for his birthday.

“Gumby represents happiness to me, I feel like every time I leave class, go to class or go to Starbucks it’s always nice to have his presence, shining and golden,” Beedle said. “I think it’s awesome that the previous classes have left their mark here.”

Gumby represents a variety of things to students, but most importantly he embodies the dynamic culture of the campus, Beedle said. 

Gumby’s long reign as Cal Lutheran’s icon has allowed him to mature alongside the university, his biggest change going from a gray color to golden for Cal Lutheran’s 50th anniversary.

In previous years, the Art Department has dedicated some of their projects to him. One popular project was “The Rainbow Children of Gumby,” where students constructed mini Gumbys around campus. In addition, he has also been memorialized by the Leadership Awards Committee. The Spirit of Gumby award is given to a student every year contingent on their school spirit.

The pride of Cal Lutheran is in students, faculty, staff and most importantly the big golden statue that stands tall for everyone to see. Rain or shine Gumby has stood the test of time and will continue to be a beacon of faith, integrity and determination amongst the Cal Lutheran community.

Happy birthday, Gumby, Cal Lutheran loves you.