GWU is retiiring the Colonials brand name.
There may be some people who might not think that the people who run The George Washington University in Washington, D. C. are very patriotic as America prepares for its 246th birthday. The people running The George Washington University are dropping the school’s brand name, the Colonials, because there is “division among the community about the moniker.” It seems there is a significant problem when it comes to the various athletic teams’ nickname. A school special committee found that “the university community is sharply divided” over the brand name, “with an almost 50/50 overall split. Alumni were “somewhat more in favor” of keeping the name “Colonials” than current students.
The GWU committee found that the Colonials brand name does not adequately match the values of GW and can no longer serve its purpose as a name that unifies the community. The committee pointed out that “for supporters, the term refers to those who lived in the American colonies, especially those who fought for independence and democracy. For opponents, Colonials means colonizers who stole land and resources from indigenous groups, killed or exiled Native peoples and introduced slavery into the colonies. These are perspectives that cannot be easily harmonized, the committee concluded. Use and popularity of the moniker also has declined in recent years.” The decision to drop the name ended a 2 ½ year discussion about what to do with the Colonials brand and whether there should be a change. A Task Force on Naming began the process in November 2019. According to GWU officials, at that time, the name already had been identified as a matter of concern given years of discussion among community members about changing it. GWU is not dropping the Colonials name anytime soon. The new brand name will replace the old one when one is found.
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