Q: Who made this decision?
A: Following consultation with, and the unanimous endorsement by, university campus leaders (officers of the Student Government and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, the Faculty Council, and the Alumni Council) as well as the leadership team of the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters and the full Board of Trustees, the final decision was made by President Flynn.
Q: What’s the reason behind dropping the “Crusader” nickname?
A: Our patron, St. Francis, changed his life course and spiritual journey when he turned away from the Crusades and pursued a path of peacemaking—including his famous trip to meet the Sultan, Malik al Kamil. This name change is in fidelity to our Franciscan mission and is congruent with the spirit of peace, harmony and inclusiveness that we, as Franciscans, strive for and that Pope Francis upholds.
Q: How did the idea to drop the “Crusader” nickname originate?
A: There was no precipitating factor for this change, but a growing sense among diverse campus leaders that the time was opportune for such a change, consistent with the Franciscan core values that guide the university and are the living legacy of our sponsors, the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters. The Faculty and Board of Trustees and our student and alumni leaders all endorsed this change unanimously.
Q: How will the new name be selected?
A. A university-wide task force, appointed by the president, will seek suggestions for a new name from students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The task force will review all submissions and consult with leaders of the faculty, student body, alumni, athletic staff and administration, as well as with representatives of the Board of Trustees and the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters. Once the leading choices are identified, the task force will present the top selections to the president, who will make the final decision on the new name.
Q: Are there new names already being developed? If so, what are they?
A: The task force has not yet met, so no new names have been considered at this time.
Q: When will the new name be announced?
A: We plan to make a decision and announce the new name in June.
Q: Will the school’s team name remain the Crusaders through the remainder of the academic year?
A: Yes, through the spring of the year until a new nickname has been selected in June 2017.
Q: When will Alvernia sports teams start using the new name?
A: Alvernia’s sports teams will begin using the new name in the fall of 2017.
Q: Isn’t this really a matter of being politically correct, particularly in light of other colleges dropping the “Crusader” name?
A: Not at all. It’s a matter of being true to our Franciscan mission and our core values of service, humility, peacemaking, contemplation, and collegiality. This change is also a response to the spirit of peace, harmony, and inclusiveness that Franciscans aspire to and that Pope Francis upholds.
Q: Will the Crusaders name be completely removed from the campus?
A: We recognize that the Crusaders nickname is part of our university’s history. So, “Crusaders” will still appear on existing commemorative banners, trophies and other items from our past accomplishments. Once we have announced a new nickname, clubs, venues and other entities that currently use the Crusader nickname or reference to it, and represent the university in an official capacity, will be asked to change their name accordingly.
Q. What other colleges and universities changed their nickname from Crusaders?
A: Since 2000, we are aware of more than 10 colleges and universities that have changed their name from Crusaders to something else, as well as others who have chosen to retain the name. We respect either approach.
Q: Will the school’s colors change?
A: No. Maroon and gold will continue to be our school colors.