News & Politics

George Washington University Will Retire “Colonials” Nickname

Photograph by krblokhin/iStock.

George Washington University will retire the Colonials nickname soon, the GW Hatchet reports.

The university has been considering a change to the name, which some students and alumni feel is freighted by a  connection to colonialism, since the summer of 2020. It has since renamed the Cloyd Heck Marvin Center, which was originally named for an ardent segregationist.

The Colonials nickname “no longer does the work that a moniker should—namely, unifying the campus behind our academic and athletic institutional aspirations,” provost Christopher Alan Bracey said in a university press release. In fact, the university had moved to distance itself from the name for some time, including renaming an event previously known as the “Colonial Invasion.”

GWU plans to use “Colonials” until it unveils a new nickname, which it intends to do with input from its community by the 2023-4 academic year.

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Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.