Alli Gator gets a glow up

Author: Strategic Marketing and Communications
August 28, 2023
Alli Gator poses with a student for a photo in the Quad
Photo Credit: Juan Montes

After 92 years, SF State’s mascot decided it was time for a new look

As the school year begins, it’s time for everyone — humans and alligators alike — to return to campus, show off their new fits and start the school year off on the right foot or claw. After rocking the same look for 92 years, San Francisco State University’s mascot Alli Gator decided it was time to reinvent their look.

“What happened this summer was that Alli went away for a spa treatment and retreat, worked out, changed its diet, met with a dentist and what you are going to see today in the redesign is a lot of self-care,” said Miguel Ángel Hernández, San Francisco State associate vice president for Student Life and dean of students at Alli’s campus unveiling event Wednesday, Aug. 23. He reminded the SF State community to follow Alli’s lead and prioritize self-care.

Alli gathered a few of their closest friends — like Hernández, SF State President Lynn Mahoney and Assistant Dean of Students Chris Trudell — on Malcom X Plaza to celebrate their new look and the first week of classes. The entire University community was invited and Alli made sure it was a true party with music, giveaways, food and a chance to grab a selfie with the Gator. Many student clubs and organizations were also tabling in the Quad to help ring in the fall 2023 semester.

Introduced as an athletics mascot, Alli arrived on campus in 1931 and became a beloved fixture at campus events. Suggested alternatives for the school mascot included the golden panthers, owls and seals, but none of those stuck. Instead, students voted for the “Golden Gaters.” (Yes, like the Golden Gate Bridge. The spelling almost immediately changed to the “Gators” because even in the 1930s dad puns were cringe.) 

Though Alli had a glow up, they are still the same Gator at their core. Next time you see them on campus or at an event, say hi and compliment them on their new purple manicure. Who knows, they might even share some style secrets.

“We celebrate identity and all of its manifestations. And when you take a peek at our student clubs and organizations, you’ll see them celebrating their identities and all of their manifestations,” said Alli’s bestie President Mahoney. “But there is one, ONE, that everybody here shares. … Today we take a moment to celebrate the identity we share. We are Gators.”