Posted on May 31, 2023

George Washington University Officially Drops Nickname Deemed “Extremely Offensive”

Emily Mae Czachor, CBS, May 25, 2023

Answering calls from students and the broader community, George Washington University will formally change its nickname to the Revolutionaries, officials announced this week.

The new name will apply to each of the school’s athletic teams, and comes after years of pushback against the school’s former moniker, “Colonials.” Students had protested its connotation, given the violent and oppressive history of American colonization.

“We, as students of the George Washington University, believe it is of great exigence that the University changes its official mascot,”  reads the description of a petition organized by George Washington University students, which received more than 530 signatures. “The use of ‘Colonials,’ no matter how innocent the intention, is received as extremely offensive by not only students of the University, but the nation and world at large.”

“The historically, negatively-charged figure of Colonials has too deep a connection to colonization and glorifies the act of systemic oppression,” the organizers wrote. In addition to “Revolutionaries,” “Hippos” and “Riverhorses” were also suggested as alternative monikers.