George Washington University drops colonial surname, officials say name ‘does not match GW’s values’

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George Washington University Sports Teams will no longer be known as Colonial.

The school said in an announcement Wednesday that the school’s board of trustees and a special committee that determined the colonial name “can no longer serve its purpose as a name that unites.”

The George Washington Colonials logo on the floor before a first round Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Tournament game against the Richmond Spiders at Smith Center on March 3, 2020 in Washington, DC
(Michelle Layton/Getty Images)

The school said the name change process began in 2019, after the special committee “found that the colonial surname did not adequately match the values ​​of GW and could no longer serve its purpose as a community unifying name” Is.”

Additionally, the committee noted that when the surname was adopted in 1926, those who chose it lacked “thoughtful university-wide consideration”.

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The committee outlined why those who supported the surname supported it, saying it was a term for people who lived in the American colonies before America became independent and for those who fought for independence. Were. The committee said that for those opposing it, “colonial refers to colonists who stole land and resources from indigenous groups, killed or deported native people, and introduced slavery to the colonies.”

the committee said George Washington The term colonial was “strongly rejected”, and the term “was not used during the colonial era 1607–1776, and did not become popular until the Colonial Revival period of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.”

The George Washington Colonials mascot performs in the second half against the Massachusetts Minutemen during the second round of the 2022 Atlantic 10 men's basketball tournament at Capital One Arena on March 10, 2022 in Washington, DC.

The George Washington Colonials mascot performs in the second half against the Massachusetts Minutemen during the second round of the 2022 Atlantic 10 men’s basketball tournament at Capital One Arena on March 10, 2022 in Washington, DC.
(G Fume/Getty Images)

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“The board recognizes Importance of changing the surname of the universityAnd we have made this decision after a thoughtful and deliberate process, following the naming framework and recommendation of the Special Committee, which considers the differing perspectives of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and the athletics community, Board Chairman Grace Spites said in a statement.

“A nickname should unite our community, draw people together and serve as a source of pride. We look forward to the next steps in an inclusive process to identify the moniker that fulfills this aspiration.” Huh.”

President Mark S. Wright said the school should “continue to lead with our values, strength and diversity” of the community.

“I was impressed by the special committee’s theoretical and collaborative approach, and it was clear that the process was driven by research and strong engagement with the community. Although some may disagree with the results, the process determined that the moniker changed.” It’s the right decision for our university.”

The moniker came under fire in 2019 After a student-led petition seeking a change of surname surfaced. The petition states that the Colonials surname is “extremely offensive not only to university students, but to the country and the world.”

A new surname will be unveiled before the start of the 2023-24 academic school year.

Over the years, pro sports teams And colleges are under pressure to change their surname over the objections.

George Washington Colonial logo on uniform during the second round of the 2022 Atlantic 10 men's basketball tournament at Capital One Arena on March 10, 2022 in Washington, DC

The George Washington Colonial logo on the uniform during the second round of the 2022 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Tournament at Capital One Arena on March 10, 2022 in Washington, DC
(G Fume/Getty Images)

The Washington Redskins were transformed into the Washington football team And then to the Washington commanders. The Cleveland Indians turned to the Cleveland Guardian.

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The Nebraska Cornhuskers turned to Herbie Husker to distance themselves from an alleged white supremacy link. PETA called on baseball to rename the bullpen to “Arm Barn”. The Quidditch League sought to change the name of their game to differ from “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling. And Even the Texas Rangers were called But to change his name.