Just a few months after North Dakota landed on “Fighting Hawks” as the school’s new mascot name, another college has dropped their name due to racial tensions building with Native Americans.
Whitman College will no longer use the nickname “Fighting Missionaries” for their athletic teams.
Their decision comes after the school wanted to adopt a new name that seems more welcoming to their campus. Dr. Kathy Murray, President of Whitman College, announced the dropping of the nickname in a release on Monday.
“Last fall, based on questions raised in the past about the Whitman mascot and conversations that were then taking place across campus, I decided that it was time to ask whether our college mascot was appropriately inclusive and welcoming to today’s Whitman community,” Dr. Murray said in the statement. “I do not think a mascot (defined as a person, animal, or object adopted as the symbol of a group and believed to bring good luck) should precipitate the difficult conversations around challenging ideas. A mascot is meant to be something around which supporters of a college, and particularly athletic teams, rally.”
The school has used this nickname to honor Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, two missionaries who were killed by a Cayuse tribe in the late 1800s, since the school was founded 1882.
The school has since confirmed that they will not change the name of the college.
However, there has been no word on when they would adopt a new mascot name.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Whitman Athletics