Northwest Nazarene University has a new mascot.
President Joel Pearsall announced today the school is changing its nickname and mascot from Crusaders to Nighthawks.
In 2016, NNU’s Board of Trustees appointed a task force of students, alumni, faculty, trustees and representatives of NNU athletics to come up with a new nickname and mascot. The task force met several times and delivered a report to the board last spring. The board then voted unanimously at its fall meeting to make the change.
The change comes after students, alumni and others expressed concern about the Crusaders mascot being associated with violence and destruction.
The board wanted a nickname and mascot around which students and alumni could rally, and one that should not detract from the university’s mission and values. The board concluded that the historical nickname could easily be misunderstood.
Nighthawks was selected as the mascot because it is an animal common to the area where NNU is located, and it is not already used by other schools.
School officials say the name change will be immediate, but it will take some time for team uniforms and school merchandise to reflect the new image. A spokesman says an official logo is still in the works, but the one below is an introductory type treatment.