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Christian university drops ‘Crusaders’ moniker

A Christian university in Idaho has dropped its “Crusaders” mascot, claiming “there has been a growing diversity of opinion regarding the mascot and nickname” in recent years that led to the change.

On Monday, Northwest Nazarene University President Joel Pearsall announced the institution would be adopting “Nighthawks” as its new nickname. Pearsall’s announcement concluded a lengthy process in which university stakeholders moved to drop the crusaders moniker, according to an article published on the school’s website.

From the article:

Over the past several years, NNU’s Board of Trustees has discussed and considered the possibility of changing the university’s institutional nickname and mascot. In 2016, the board appointed a task force composed of NNU trustees, alumni (one of whom serves as a missionary), students, representatives of NNU athletics, and faculty members. The task force met several times and delivered a report to the board during spring semester 2017. After further consideration at the fall 2017 meeting, the board voted unanimously to change the university’s nickname and mascot from “Crusaders” to “Nighthawks”.

The university has slowly phased out its association with the Crusaders mascot. In 2006, it quit using the image of a crusader and started to “deemphasize the term within the athletic department and around campus.”

In a Frequently Asked Questions webpage created to explain the name change, the university insists the decision is about being politically correct. Instead it claims “this change is an effort to assure that our nickname and mascot do not in any way impede the university’s ability to fulfill its mission and be in ministry to others in an increasingly-interconnected global community.”

However, Northwest Nazarene’s Facebook post announcing the mascot change was lit up with comments lambasting the university for bowing to politically correctness. A university spokesman did not respond to The College Fix‘s request for comment regarding the criticism.

Northwest Nazarene joins several other universities that have stripped themselves of the Crusaders moniker in recent years. Earlier this year, Alvernia University dropped the nickname.

Read the university’s article.

MORE: Catholic university drops Crusaders mascot: ‘troublesome, offensive’

MORE: College Nixes ‘Crusaders’ Mascot, Says It’s Too Controversial

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  • gmartinz

    I have no problem with this since Crusaders could offend some people. I think they should go further and eliminate the word “Nazarene,” too.

    • Thinkaboutit

      Yea, and what about “Northwest”, also. The “North” part might be offensive to some Southerners who lost forebears during the “war of Northern aggression.”

    • Lonnie Joe Willis Jr.

      who care if it offends people

      • Bigearsbarry

        Apparently the president of the school, Ms. Pearsall does.

  • Lisa

    And christian could offend non christians.

  • AnitaHaircut

    This whole thing has blown into nothing more than insanity!
    Political Correctness has to take a hike!
    There isn’t a thing in this world were no one would ever be offended….
    What are they opting for? To sew the lips shut or remove ones eyes in order that no one will ever be offended?
    If one asked 60 years ago about any of this…..no one would have been offended. But only today do we face this sort of music because it was designed to control and condition our every free thoughts and will.

  • Bill Burdick

    Maybe it should be the “Cowards.” We certainly would not want to offend any terrorists.


    The college should change its mascot to the “Unbelievers”.

    • Bigearsbarry

      They should put a yellow stripe down the back of their uniforms.

  • Locke-Fawkes


  • Lonnie Joe Willis Jr.

    if you cave you should change you names to the cowards and you school slogan should be we were onece proud but now we are worse than liberals we are the mighty cowards

    be proud to be a crusader forthe only true

    god not cave to allah lovers

  • N=1

    Cultural suicide.

  • give_me_a_break

    The “crusades” were a response to 500 years of muslim aggression against the west. Beginning in 700 or so islamic armies devastated formerly christian lands of Syria, Israel, Egypt, North Africa, Spain, Cyprus etc. Islamic raiders conducted slave raids against southern Italy for many decades carrying off thousands of captives even raiding Rome in the 800’s. Finally after centuries of retreat, the west was able to begin the long process of reclaming their lands and pushing back the islamic invaders.

    The “crusades” – a counter offensive to reclaim christian lands lasted for about 200 years and largely failed except that they did secure Europe including Spain from the muslims. Nonetheless, islamic attacks continued for another 300 years ultimately reaching a high water mark in the late 1400’s outside Vienna where the final wave of islamic invaders were defeated.

    Northwest Nazarene is a college rooted in a confused and largely failed denomination

  • Doug Brown

    Although a Catholic now, my undergraduate work was at Evangel University. The school logo was The Crusaders. No greater honor than to be associated with the likes of those great men of Christ.

  • Phil McDonald

    Surely the word “Christian” has much more negative connotation than Crusaders.

  • John Sarsfield

    They should rename themselves as the Saracens. That way no one will be offended.

  • Nan

    Its an evangelical university so not like the denomination was around during the crusafes.