North Dakota changes mascot to ‘Fighting Hawks’

November 19, 2015 / Athletic Administration
The University of North Dakota is replacing its “Fighting Sioux” nickname with the “Fighting Hawks,” the school announced Wednesday.

North DakotaNorth Dakota officially dropped the “Fighting Sioux” mascot in 2012, but a bill passed by state lawmakers prevented the university from adopting a new nickname until 2015. “Fighting Hawks” beat “Roughriders” earning 57 percent of online votes.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that the process has already cost the school $200,000.

From the article:

The school now will receive proposals from professional marketing firms to design a logo for the new nickname, said Athletic Director Brian Faison. The image should be decided by summer and start to appear on most teams’ uniforms by next fall, Faison said. Some teams already have ordered uniforms for 2016-17, meaning a few teams will have to wait until 2017-18 for uniforms with the new logos.

The Fighting Sioux logos on display throughout Ralph Engelstad Arena, where the men’s and women’s Division I hockey teams play, will remain as part of an agreement with the NCAA.

Native American nicknames and mascots have been targeted for years by tribes and other organizations that believe they are insensitive to some cultures. Numerous high schools have dropped nicknames like “Indians” or “Redskins” in recent years, and this month Adidas announced it would provide funding to help school districts ditch related mascots.

More than 27,000 votes were counted in North Dakota’s nickname poll. For media and broadcast purposes, the university announced it would begin using the “Fighting Hawks” nickname immediately.

“We are pleased to be able to announce the selection of a new nickname — Fighting Hawks — and bring this process, in which so many people have participated, to a successful conclusion,” North Dakota President Robert Kelley said. “We especially appreciate the two nickname committees who worked so hard during this past year to make this a transparent, inclusive process that led to a short list of potential nicknames.

“Now, the voters have spoken, and they have told us that Fighting Hawks should be that new nickname. This is an appropriate choice, as Fighting Hawks symbolizes the competitive spirit of our athletes, the perseverance of the North Dakota spirit, and the continual ascendancy of the University and the state.”

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