Whitman College, a $57,702-per-year bastion of the liberal arts and sciences in Walla Walla, Wash., is retiring its mascot, the Missionary.
Officials at the fancypants private school say they are dropping the mascot — a respectful nod to nineteenth-century Walla Walla Valley missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman — out of concerns over diversity.
“The decision to retire the Missionary mascot reflects conversations about diversity and inclusion in higher education, both on the Whitman College campus and nationwide,” explains a Whitman statement sent to The Daily Caller. “In recent years, these conversations have intensified, and many Whitman community members expressed a renewed interest in examining the appropriateness of the Missionary mascot.”
Critics of the Whitman Missionaries mascot call the moniker “divisive,” according to The Seattle Times.
The decision to find a new mascot was made by an ad hoc working group that reviewed survey input from over 18,000 students, alumni and employees.
Just under two-thirds of Whitman’s current students and employees voted to reject the Missionaries mascot while 29 percent wanted to keep it. About 10 percent of survey takers said they didn’t care.
Whitman’s athletic teams, which compete in the Northwest Conference of the NCAA’s Division III, will get a new name soon based on a vote scheduled to occur this fall.
“Now that our community has spoken, we are going to work to create a new, official mascot for everyone to celebrate,” Whitman College president Kathleen Murray said in the statement sent to TheDC.
A committee of professors, students and alums will come up with a list of mascots for the fall vote.
The Daily Caller wants to help. Here, for your esteemed consideration, are 14 fabulous mascots for Whitman College to adopt instead of Missionaries. Please make your opinion known:
The current Whitman College Missionaries logo does not show a missionary. Instead, the logo features a stylized version of the school’s pointy clock tower.
Whitman will also nix the current name of its school newspaper, the Whitman Pioneer, to avoid notions of “settler-colonialism and white supremacy,” according to Inside Higher Ed.