Posted on August 12, 2021

Valparaiso University Chooses to Replace Nickname Embraced by Hate Groups

Associated Press, August 10, 2021

Valparaiso University announced Tuesday that it has adopted the Beacons as its new team name, replacing the Crusaders, a term school officials dropped this year after saying it had been embraced by hate groups.


School officials announced in February that they had retired the Crusaders name following input from students, faculty and alumni.

That decision came after a decades-long debate that has recently intensified because groups such as the Ku Klux Klan began using the words and symbols of the Crusades, which were a series of bloody religious wars starting in the 11th century between Christians and Muslims.

For years, Valpo’s sports mascot had been a helmeted figure in faux armor. But the school’s faculty and student senates each passed resolutions calling for a change, and the university’s alumni board of directors supported reassessing the team name’s appropriateness.