WASHINGTON. George Washington University is dropping its “The Colonists” moniker because “it can no longer serve its purpose as a unifying name,” the school announced Wednesday.
GW will continue to use “Colonials” until a new name is introduced. This is expected by the 2023-24 academic year.
“The nickname is meant to bring our community together, bring people together and serve as a source of pride,” said Grace Speights, Chair of the University Board of Trustees. “We look forward to the next steps in an inclusive process to identify a moniker that lives up to this ambition.”
The school has been using “Colonials” since 1926.
A select committee studied the history of the name and submitted a report to the school president in March 2021.
According to the university’s online statement, the committee determined that supporters of “colonials” see the term as referring to “those who lived in the American colonies, especially those who fought for independence and democracy,” while opponents believe that this the term refers to “colonizers who stole land and resources from indigenous peoples, killed or drove out indigenous peoples, and introduced slavery to the colonies”.