As early as 2019, certain student body members expressed their concerns, initiating a petition for a name change due to the offensive nature of the term “Colonials.”
These sentiments were shared by the university’s students and resonated nationally and globally.
In the summer of 2022, the private Washington, D.C. institution announced its decision to formally discontinue the use of the name, which had been in place for nearly a century.
Board Chair Grace Speights released a statement emphasizing the importance of a unifying and pride-inspiring moniker that would bring the community together.
She anticipated an inclusive process to identify a new name to fulfill these aspirations.
After a year-long period, which involved collecting 47,000 points of feedback and narrowing down 8,000 moniker suggestions through an extensive community engagement process, we have finally arrived at four exceptional finalists.
George Washington University has completed changing its team name, following an extensive search to replace its previous nickname, the “Colonials,” which some students had deemed offensive.
Chuck Todd, an alumnus of GW (The George Washington University) who attended from 1990 to 1994 and was honored with a degree in 2022, and currently serves as the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” unveiled the university’s new name in a captivating breaking news-style video that was shared on Instagram and Facebook.
Alongside Todd, several notable individuals contributed their insights on selecting “Revolutionaries.”
These included Monica Ruiz, a current faculty member at Milken Institute School of Public Health, along with Michael O’Connor, who earned his B.B.A. in 2002 and formerly played Major League Baseball; and Jake Sherman, who graduated with a B.A. in 2008 and is the founder of Punchbowl News.
President Mark S. Wrighton, GW students, and the beloved university mascot, George, were also involved in the announcement.