George Washington University to Choose New Name for Its Athletic Teams Soon, Drops “Colonials”

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Mar 28, 2023

George Washington University

The George Washington University athletic teams will soon be known by another name and not “Colonials.” This is because the university has decided to retire this name to avoid negative connotations.

The move comes after years of student activism, with many saying that the name was linked to violence towards Native Americans and other colonized communities, reports.

The university is now in the process of selecting a new nickname for its athletic teams and has narrowed down the list of potential replacements to four final options: “Ambassadors,” “Blue Fog,” “Revolutionaries,” and “Sentinels.”

According to a press release issued by the university on Monday (March 20), the campus narrowed a list of ten replacement names to the four abovementioned final options after receiving nearly 20,000 points of feedback from the school’s community.

“It has been energizing to see so many members of the GW community participate in the development of our new moniker. As we begin this next phase of feedback, I hope all GW community members continue joining us in this deliberate and thoughtful process for developing the new moniker,” Vice President for Communications and Marketing Ellen Moran said.

Students, faculty, staff, and alumni will be able to provide feedback to the university on the four finalists until April 28 as the school moves to the next phase of what it calls the “Moniker Madness” campaign, with the new nickname to be released at the end of the semester.

“The community will be invited to view hype videos for each of the four remaining options and rate each video,” GW press release reads.

However, while the university is changing its nickname, the mascot will remain George 1, which features the head of George Washington and is worn by a uniformed student.

The George Washington University Board of Trustees made the decision to drop the “Colonials” nickname last year following the suggestion of the Special Committee on the Colonials Moniker.

President of George Washington University Mark Wrighton praised the special committee’s recommendation on the moniker and said that although there may be people who will not agree with this change, it is the right decision for GW.

While commenting on how important it is to change the university’s nickname, the Board Chair, Grace Speights, said back then that a moniker should be unifying, bring people together and serve as a source of pride.

One of the key points in the committee report said that George Washington himself was against the use of “colonial” and that he rarely used the term. Additionally, research indicates that “Colonials” was not commonly used during the Colonial Era from 1607 to 1776. It only gained popularity during the Colonial Revival period in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

Picture: George Washington University Twitter

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