It’s a phrase emblazoned on campus billboards and attached to Twitter hashtags, seemingly as vague as it is ubiquitous. But does anyone even know what “Raise High” means?
“Raise High is universal. No matter who you are, where you are, what you do, as Colonials, we raise high. We Raise High in D.C., back home on break, interning on the Hill, or alternative breaks in New Orleans. What does Raise High mean? It’s what it means to you,” the Student Association’s official definition of the slogan, crafted by three members, reads.
The phrase, originally coined to foster spirit and morale during the 2011-2012 basketball season, has developed into a campus motto – more than just a catchy slogan for Colonials enthusiasts to rally around. #RaiseHigh Twitter hashtags have picked up among students on game days.
“The words were taken from our fight song, but they stand for a larger belief in striving for excellence in everything that we do,” athletics director Patrick Nero said. “It means raising high expectations, raising high achievement and raising high sportsmanship.”
But on a larger scale, the slogan is meant to incorporate the entire campus community and promote a sense of achievement, Student Association president Ashwin Narla said.
He said the phrase serves as a rally cry for students, coupling with the University’s new branding campaign.
“GW students generally have very high ambitions – generally very lofty goals, and you can see with the internships that a lot of GW students have, the research that they’re doing on campus, the student orgs that they’re involved with – it’s about raising high, meeting those goals, meeting that potential,” Narla said.
And don’t be quick to dismiss the saying as a passing phase. Nero said the battle cry is on the path to matching the well recognized school mottos that have become integral at other universities.
“As you see in notable examples at other universities, ‘Roll Tide’ at Alabama, ‘War Eagle’ at Auburn, ‘Fight On’ at USC, ‘Raise High’ is GW’s way of bonding students, alumni, supporters and fans of this great university,” Nero said.