George Washington University has made the decision to change the Colonials moniker. The new moniker will be announced by the 2023-24 academic year, and Colonials will continue to be used until a new moniker is introduced.
According to the George Washington University website, the decision to change the Colonials moniker was the result of a thoughtful, deliberate process that spanned many years. “This decision was not taken lightly. Ultimately, both the Special Committee on the Colonials Monikerand the Board of Trustees determined that the university would be better served by a new moniker that will help unify the GW community and increase pride in the institution. In the end, we all want to ensure that the university’s moniker accurately reflects the values, strengths and diversity of the George Washington University.”
In 2019, the Board of Trustees began to address naming concerns on campus by forming a Task Force on Naming. At this time, Colonials had already been identified as a name of concern after years of discussion among the community. Based on the work of the Task Force, in July 2020, President Emeritus Thomas LeBlanc convened a Special Committee on the Colonials Moniker to make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees on whether Colonials should be changed.
The Special Committee on the Colonials Moniker, which understood the sensitivity and importance of its work, took its role seriously and followed the process and considerations established by the Board’s renaming framework. The Special Committee did extensive research and engaged the GW community for crucial feedback before making a recommendation to discontinue the moniker in a report to the Board.
Per George Washington University: After a thoughtful and deliberate process that engaged the university community for feedback, the George Washington University’s Board of Trustees has accepted the recommendation of a Special Committee to discontinue the use of the Colonials moniker. Colonials will continue to be used until a new moniker is introduced, which is expected to be announced by the 2023-24 academic year.
The decision to change the Colonials moniker was not taken lightly, and both the Board and Special Committee determined a new moniker will help unify the university community and serve as a source of pride. As GW embarks on its third century, this is a tremendous opportunity for the university to evolve and create a moniker that the GW community can rally around.
To learn more about the decision and next steps, please read the GW Today story