Chancellor Issues Decision on Student Effort to ‘Bring Back Boone’

DU Today (Denver), October 20, 2008

A student-initiated effort to replace Ruckus and reinstate Boone as the DU mascot has come to an end, Chancellor Robert Coombe announced today.

The decision comes after more than a year of consideration by University of Denver administration.

Boone was the University’s mascot from 1968—98, when the pioneer character was replaced by Ruckus, a red-tailed hawk.

“The old Boone figure is one that does not reflect the broad diversity of the DU community and is not an image that many of today’s women, persons of color, international students and faculty, and others can easily relate to as defining the pioneering spirit,” Coombe wrote in an Oct. 20 letter to students. “This runs counter to our commitment to build a diverse and inclusive campus community as a fundamental element of excellence. The University simply cannot adopt an official mascot that has a divisive rather than a unifying influence on our community.”

The University will not use the image of Boone in any official manner, Coombe said, though students and alumni may continue to use the character in personal celebration of DU’s history and tradition.

“One thing is certain—we will always be the Pioneers,” Coombe wrote, adding that he’d like the campus community to continue the discussion of “what it means to be a Pioneer, for today and the future.”

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