WORCESTER (CBS) – The oldest Catholic college in New England may be about to get a name change. Holy Cross is considering a change to the school’s nickname of “Crusaders.”
He only got the name “Iggy” a couple of years ago but the purple, sword-wielding Crusader has been the mascot at Holy Cross since 1920.
“The mascot is one of the most important things to the school because it represents who you are,” said sophomore Matthew Wolfe.
And with that in mind, the Jesuit school just spent eight weeks hearing from students, faculty, and alumni about scrapping the Crusader, a figure gleaned from the bloody medieval conflicts where Christians sought to expel Muslims from the Holy Land.
“I don’t know how much relevance it has now,” said senior Maureen Connolly, who is among the athletes who have played their entire college careers as Crusaders. While she’d personally like to see him stay — she gets both sides. “I think some people will be sad to see it go but there is a valid argument of reasons to change it,” Connolly said.
“It’s a big deal for the upper classmen because that’s what we’ve been going as the whole time we have been here,” said senior Susan Kritzmacher.
1956 Holy Cross grad turned Celtics coach and NBA Hall-of-Famer Tommy Heinsohn was less diplomatic calling the effort to can the crusader “political correctness run amok.”
While some argue the Crusaders are a direct link to the Jesuit school’s religious identity, others wonder if the mascot aligns with the school’s 21st century values.
With finals approaching the fuss hasn’t hit everyone’s radar.
“I really wasn’t aware that they were thinking about changing it,” one student said.
But to some, there’s a lot riding on this.
“That’s kind of the legacy that we would leave behind,” Wolfe said.
A decision is expected from the school’s board of trustees in February. And at this point, no one seems sure if a short list of possible replacement names is already on standby.