MILWAUKEE -- About 100 students at Marquette protested the
school's new "Gold" nickname on Friday, chanting slogans and
waving banners in support of its former name, the Warriors.
The protest came two days after the board of trustees
unanimously voted to shorten the Golden Eagles to just the Gold,
rejecting a push started by alumni to restore the Warriors, the
school's nickname when its men's basketball team won the NCAA
championship in 1977 under coach great Al McGuire.
The school became the Warriors in 1954, but abandoned the
moniker and logo -- which featured a profile of an American Indian
wearing a headdress -- in 1993 because the imagery and a past mascot
had offended some Indian groups.
The nickname debate was sparked last May when two trustees
offered the school $1 million each to restore the Warriors name.
Rev. Robert Wild, the president of the Jesuit college, told the
students the Gold embodied the school's tradition of excellence and
its colors, blue and gold.
"The notion that we are gold is what we've been -- what all of
you have been as strong fans and people who wear the color gold,"
Dan Maciejewski, co-chairman of the disbanded group Students for Warriors, said the decision smacked of a more rigid tradition.
"It's continuing a long tradition of Jesuit arrogance in not
listening," he said. "This name was forced on us, just as the
Golden Eagles was in 1994."
An online survey filled out by some 9,000 alumni, faculty, staff
and students in November did not offer the Gold as a choice.
"They made it seem like they were going to change the name
back," said Jason Tracey, a 25-year-old electrical engineering
student. "There were two options, Golden Eagles or Warriors. All
of a sudden it was just Gold."
The name change will take place when Marquette leaves Conference USA and joins the tougher Big East Conference on July 1.