Denver Axes Mascot ‘Boone’ in Diversity Drive

Valerie Richardson, Washington Times, December 27, 2008

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A [University of Denver] committee gave the final axing in October to “Denver Boone,” better known as Boone, a portly, chubby-cheeked cartoon character in a coonskin cap who represented the University of Denver Pioneers from 1968 to 1998.

“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,” Chancellor Robert Coombe said.

Boone, drawn by Walt Disney in 1968, was shelved in 1998 for his “lack of gender inclusiveness and the changing image of the university,” according to the student newspaper, the Clarion.

Students and alumni have lobbied to bring back Boone ever since. A university survey taken earlier this year in response to a resurgent “bring back Boone” movement showed that 87 percent of student and alumni respondents held a favorable opinion of the pudgy pioneer and wanted to see his return.

The university put the mascot question last year before its History and Traditions Task Force, which decided to shelve Boone permanently after critics argued that he represented an era of Western imperialism and was offensive to women and minority groups.

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boone

Boone: Offensive to women, minority groups, and university officials.

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