George Washington University hopes to change the history behind its athletics teams. These include GW football, GW baseball, and GW basketball. The NCAA Division 1 school is switching up its moniker after going through 8,000 suggestions. GW has settled to rename itself effective immediately.
The team stuck with its former moniker, the Colonials, since 1926 and has not changed since. On July 2022, the team started its year-long process of rebranding.
“A moniker must unify our community, draw people together, and serve as a source of pride. We look forward to the next steps in an inclusive process to identify a moniker that fulfills this aspiration,” said Board Chair Grace Speights before starting the name-change process, per The Athletic.
The school decided on the moniker through 47,000 points of feedback. Processes like focus groups, community-involved rating opportunities, and random sample surveys were used to narrow down the preferred name. Names like Blue Fogs, Ambassadors, and Sentinels were in the final four.
The selection process would eventually give birth to their moniker. GWU is now the Revolutionaries over being called the Colonials.
GW made the name change together with other sports teams that are shying away from their previously offensive branding. They join the NFL’s Washington Commanders and MLB’s Cleveland Guardians in the pursuit to move away from their past. All of these are to avoid fan backlash and to expand their reach.
This is a historic moment for GW and their President Mark Wrighton rightly points it out: “This is an exciting day for the George Washington University Revolutionaries.”