Officials release moniker guiding principles, reject Hippos as potential nickname

Media Credit: File Photo by Grace Hromin

Community members can submit suggestions for the moniker in accordance with the guiding principles through Jan. 31.

Officials released a set of guiding principles for the new University moniker, formally closing the door on a potential Hippos moniker, according to a University release.

Officials crafted the guiding principles, which outline themes and personality traits the moniker should embody like tenacity and “shaping the future,” on an online engagement form that solicited community feedback on the moniker selection process. The release states that a potential Hippos moniker, or any variation of it, does not align with officials’ guiding principles and “will not be considered” as a moniker after it received negative feedback from the community, particularly student-athletes.

The release states community members can submit suggestions for the moniker in accordance with the guiding principles through Jan. 31.

“We’re pleased to have had such robust participation from the very beginning of this process, with thousands of members of the GW community already providing feedback on the direction of the new moniker,” Vice President for Communications and Marketing Ellen Moran said in the release. “As we begin to explore options for the new moniker, we will continue to engage our community each and every step of the way.”

Officials set themes that a potential moniker would align with, which include “shaping the future” and “at the center of power” and personality traits like “tenacious,” “electric” and “open,” which they say reflects the GW community’s shared experience, athletics identity and a connection to the University’s past and future.

The Board of Trustees voted to retire the Colonials moniker and expects to pick a replacement by the 2023-24 academic year, following years of pressure from student activists that prompted an extensive, two-year-long review, according to a University release.

Students, alumni and faculty members said the change was the “right decision” after years of student advocacy to replace the moniker due to its connections to slavery, colonialism and racial discrimination.

Officials have remained quiet on the potential costs of replacing the Colonials moniker.

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