Name change? Ranger faithful can’t Bear it


Staff writer

Olympic College hosted public forums Monday and Wednesday to discuss the possibility of OC changing its mascot from the Rangers to the Bears.

Last year, when the Associated Students of Olympic College (ASOC) proposed the Bears, two other nicknames and the current Rangers nickname to the student body for vote on the school’s nickname, the Bears prevailed.

But when the vote became public, many members of the Rangers’ family — young and old — were upset with the decision, including Bob Summers.

Summers, a 1962 OC graduate and longtime Bremerton community member, caught wind of the proposal and organized a petition to keep the Rangers nickname, which has represented the school since it was founded in 1946.

“The mascot has been the Rangers for 62 years,” Summers said at Monday’s forum. “In my mind, there’s no reason to change it.”

Other alumni shared Summers’ opinion, including Larry Rankin, who attended West Bremerton High School in 1964 and OC from 1965 to 1966.

“I’m wondering, what would it take to turn this thing around?” he asked the attendees at Monday’s forum.

Current ASOC President Leslie Miller, who wasn’t an ASOC member at the time of the name change desicion, said her opinion wasn’t originally set one way or the other.

But Miller said the pro-Ranger feedback has been overwhelming. And at the forums on Monday and Wednesday, she challenged anyone in favor of the Bears to voice their opinion.

“I haven’t heard any one person stand up and say they want the mascot to be the Bears,” she said Monday.

Because OC is a two-year college and considered a “commuter campus,” many of the students who voted in favor of the Bears last year no longer attend the school.

“I was here when this all started,” said current student Matthew Rager who is against the name change, “and it doesn’t make any sense.”

“Why change something with so much history for students who are here in just a flash?”

Miller said she will make a formal announcement at an upcoming Board of Trustees meeting, scheduled for Feb. 21, and a decision on the school’s mascot will be made shortly thereafter.

“We’ve gathered overwhelming support for the Rangers,” Miller said. “It’s pretty clear what’s going to happen.”

Miller set up an e-mail account,, which people are encouraged to send messages to with their opinion.

Miller said those on the e-mail list will be updated after the Feb. 21 meeting.

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