George Washington University announces new 'Revolutionaries' nickname

George Washington announced plans last year to retire the Colonials nickname after backlash

George Washington
George Washington University had been known as the Colonials for nearly 100 years. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

George Washington University finally has a new name.

The school’s athletic teams will now be known as the Revolutionaries, the school announced Wednesday. That moniker replaces the Colonials, which had been the university’s nickname since 1926.

"I am very grateful for the active engagement of our community throughout the development of the new moniker," president Mark S. Wrighton said in a statement. "This process was truly driven by our students, faculty, staff and alumni, and the result is a moniker that broadly reflects our community — and our distinguished and distinguishable GW spirit."

The school will keep its mascot, George 1, and the same school colors.

Students first voted to remove the Colonials nickname in 2019, and they presented a petition to the school the following year. Colonials, the petition said, “were active purveyors of colonialism and were complicit in militarized and radicalized violence, oppression and hierarchy,” per The New York Times.

Last year, the university announced plans to ditch the name, as it could no longer unify the student body, alumni and others associated with George Washington.

Among other finalists were the Ambassadors, the Sentinels and the Blue Fog.

“To have 47,000 points of feedback from the GW community is a testament to the pride people have in this institution, and we are proud to offer them a new moniker that will propel us as we move ahead in our third century,” vice president Ellen Moran said in a statement.

George Washington University was founded in 1821 and has a total enrollment of about 26,000 students. The Revolutionaries compete in the Atlantic 10 conference. Their men’s basketball team went 16-16 last season and hasn’t made the NCAA tournament since 2014. The women’s team went 18-13 last season and most recently made the NCAA tournament in 2018.

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