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Valparaiso University replaces ‘divisive’ Crusaders nickname with Beacons

Christian university has yet to pick a new mascot, however

Valparaiso University has picked the “Beacons” as its new nickname, according to an August announcement from the Lutheran college in Indiana.

The announcement follows a February decision by the university to stop using the name “Crusaders” in response to criticism from some parents and students.

The nickname “has been the title of the University’s yearbook for the last 80 years, and it is also the name of its newest residence hall. Beacons is a nickname that honors our past, present and future,” the athletic department said in its announcement.

“Valpo intercollegiate athletic teams will immediately be known as the Beacons,” according to the statement.

The change will take effect immediately, the campus newspaper the Valpo Torch reported.

Although the university announcement includes a lighthouse in its imagery, a top campus official stated that the new mascot will not be a literal lighthouse.

“One thing I tell people is there will not be a lighthouse with legs walking around,” Mark LaBarbera, the athletic director, told the university paper.

“The new nickname, new mascot and related imagery will be phased in during the 2021–2022 academic year,” the announcement stated.

Ditching of Crusader name came after survey and task force

As previously reported by The College Fix, the explanation of the  change provided few details beyond mention of a survey and task force and talk that the Crusaders name and mascot is “divisive.”

“Neither the email nor a university press release on the decision discloses whether the task force produced a report on its findings and recommendations, or whether Valparaiso will publish the 7,700 survey responses in some form,” The Fix reported. “Its website does not bring up such materials in a search for ‘crusader task force.'”

The university also shut off commenting on its Facebook post about the decision to drop Crusaders.

MORE: Long Island University ditches ‘blackbirds’ name

IMAGE: Valpo Crusader/Twitter

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