George Washington University bows to student pressure and officially changes its moniker from ‘Colonials’ to ‘Revolutionaries’ – after critics slam former ‘hugely offensive’ moniker
- Students have been asking for a name change since 2018
- ‘Revolutionaries’ was chosen over ‘Ambassadors’, ‘Blue Fog’ and ‘Sentinels’
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George Washington University in Washington, D.C. underwent a name change after students objected to their former nickname as “extremely offensive”.
After receiving 8,000 suggestions and over 47,000 feedback points, the George Washington Colonials are now the George Washington Revolutionaries.
Students began lobbying GWU management and faculty to change their name in 2018. More than 500 students objected to the “Colonials” moniker, calling it “extremely offensive” and saying that the name “has too deep a connection to colonization and glorifies the act of systemic oppression”.
Chuck Todd, a former student and presenter of “Meet the Press,” helped his alma mater announce the new name, which was chosen from three other finalists: “Ambassadors,” “Blue Fog” and “Sentinels.”
The school sponsors 19 Division I sports and largely participates in the Atlantic 10 conference.
George Washington University in downtown Washington DC officially changes its name
GWU will now be called the ‘Revolutionaries’ after the student objected to the ‘Colonials’ name it had in place since 1926 – deeming it ‘extremely offensive’ and linked to colonization
George Washington’s mascot “George” will remain in place with this nickname change
GWU sports teams, called the Colonials since 1926, will begin using their new name when the new academic year begins later this year.
“Today is an exciting day for revolutionaries at George Washington University,” President Mark S. Wrighton said.
“A nickname should unite our community, bring people together and be a source of pride. We look forward to the next steps in an inclusive process to identify a nickname that meets this aspiration,’ board chairwoman Grace Speights said when the school initially told students it would be changing its name.
Students, alumni, and faculty were interviewed in the name reveal video to give their thoughts on the mascot’s new name and show their “revolutionary” spirit.
“I like Revolutionaries because it references George Washington in a positive way,” said Punchbowl News founder and alumnus Jake Sherman.
“It alludes to the original founding of our country, and it has a modern application as well,” added graduate student Desiree Winns.
“Revolutionaries are bold, they embody creativity and passion. Revolutionaries are agents of change, they are not content with the status quo”, proudly expressed Professor Monica Ruiz.
The George Washington University mascot, a George Washington costumed character they refer to as “George,” will remain in place.