Posted on June 15, 2022

George Washington University Drops Colonials Moniker

Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, June 15, 2022

George Washington University’s sports teams will no longer be known as the Colonials.

The school said in an announcement Wednesday the school’s board of trustees and a special committee determined the name Colonials “can no longer serve its purpose as a name that unifies.”

The school said the process to change the name began in 2019, adding the special committee “found that the Colonials moniker does not adequately match the values of GW and can no longer serve its purpose as a name that unifies the community.”

Additionally, the committee said when the nickname was adopted in 1926, those who chose it lacked “thoughtful university-wide consideration.”

The committee outlined why those who favored the nickname supported it, saying it was a term for those who lived in the American colonies before the U.S. became independent and for those who fought for independence. The committee said that for those who opposed it, “Colonials means colonizers who stole land and resources from Indigenous groups, killed or exiled Native peoples and introduced slavery into the colonies.”

The committee said George Washington “firmly rejected” the term colonial, and the term itself “was not used during the 1607-1776 Colonial era, and it did not become popular until the Colonial Revival period of the late 19th and 20th centuries.”


The moniker came under fire in 2019 after a student-led petition surfaced calling for the nickname to be changed. The nickname Colonials is “extremely offensive by not only students of the university, but the nation and world at large,” the petition said.