George Washington to drop Colonials nickname

George Washington to drop Colonials nickname

George Washington will change its athletics moniker, the Colonials, citing a division in the community over the name.

The board of trustees voted Wednesday to accept the results of study by a special committee that had recommended finding an alternative nickname.

A new name is expected to be in place by the 2023-24 academic year at the Washington, D.C., school.

President Mark S. Wrighton said he appreciated the committee’s work.

“As we embark on our third century, we must continue to lead with our values, strengths and the diversity of the George Washington University community,” university president Mark S. Wrighton said. “I was impressed by the principled and collaborative approach of the special committee, and it was clear this process was driven by research and robust engagement with the community. While some may disagree with the outcome, this process has determined that changing the moniker is the right decision for our university.”

A “broad university community engagement process” will help to decide the new name. The Colonials name has been in use since 1926. The special committee found that the name “arose casually and haphazardly, lacking thoughtful university-wide consideration.”