George Washington University, after using Colonials as its sports-team nickname for nearly 100 years, is changing the moniker to Revolutionaries.
After the former nickname received criticism for referring to colonialism, the school launched a lengthy process to determine a replacement.
The Moniker Advisory Committee, featuring students, faculty, staff and alumni, employed focus groups, surveys and town-hall-style meetings to come up with suggestions, and Revolutionaries emerged on top repeatedly, according to the university.
“This is an exciting day for the George Washington University Revolutionaries,” university president Mark S. Wrighton said in a statement. “I am very grateful for the active engagement of our community throughout the development of the new moniker. This process was truly driven by our students, faculty, staff and alumni, and the result is a moniker that broadly reflects our community — and our distinguished and distinguishable GW spirit.”
GWU vice president for communications and marketing Ellen Moran added in a statement, “To have 47,000 points of feedback from the GW community is a testament to the pride people have in this institution, and we are proud to offer them a new moniker that will propel us as we move ahead in our third century.”
According to the university’s announcement, Revolutionaries “are not afraid to break boundaries and change the game. The GW Revolutionaries go beyond what’s conventional or expected to focus on shifting mindsets and creating a new future for ourselves and our world.”
The school’s board of trustees approved the change, which will be fully incorporated for the 2023-24 school year.
The other nickname finalists that Revolutionaries topped were Blue Fog, Ambassadors and Sentinels.