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New Mascot FAQ

What’s the reason behind dropping the “Crusader” mascot and nickname?
Crusaders, as a mascot and nickname, has served our institution well for many years. While we are grateful for our history and recognize the richness of our heritage and traditions, we also recognize that in our current global climate the potential exists for the term Crusaders to be misunderstood. This change is not about being politically correct, rather this change is an effort to assure that our nickname and mascot do not in any way impede the university’s ability to fulfill its mission and be in ministry to others in an increasingly-interconnected global community.

How did the idea to change the mascot originate?
There was no precipitating factor, but a growing sense among diverse campus leaders that the time was opportune for such a change. The selection of a new mascot has been discussed off and on since 2001 but more pressing items have frequently “back-burnered” the discussion. In recent years our board has brought it to the forefront once again.

What is a nighthawk?
The nighthawk is a grey and brown medium sized bird from the nightjar family that is found throughout the northwest and nests in southwest Idaho. Nighthawks are primarily active in the late evening or early morning. Audubon's Guide to North American Birds says “Its bounding, erratic flight and angular wings make it unmistakable.”

How was the nighthawk selected?
Various possibilities were considered within at least five different categories, with multiple options in each. Multiple factors were examined including mascots of other colleges and universities and even high schools—seeking something unique. The common view was that the mascot not distract from the university’s mission, while representing our northwest lifestyle. Because our state and region have such a strong connection to wildlife it seemed especially appropriate that we select a mascot demonstrating that connection.

Will the Crusaders name be completely removed from the campus?
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. Clubs, venues and other entities that currently use the Crusader nickname or reference to it, and represent the university in an official capacity, will change their name accordingly.

Will the school’s team name remain the Crusaders through the remainder of the academic year?
No, the new name will be used immediately. Go Nighthawks!

Will the school’s colors change?
No. Red and black will continue to be our school colors.

When will the new mascot imagery be released?
A timeline for a complete roll-out is being developed now.

Who made this decision?
Over the past several years, Northwest Nazarene University’s Board of Trustees has discussed the possibility of changing the University’s mascot. In 2016 the board appointed a task force to explore the topic in depth and submit a report and recommendation. The task force met multiple times and made a report to the Board of Trustees in March 2017. Before making a final decision, the board asked the administration to provide insight on some additional questions which were then discussed in the October 2017 meeting. Following a report from the appointed task force and insight from the administration, the Board of Trustees decided to change the mascot of NNU during their meeting in mid-October, 2017.

What costs will be associated with this change?
This is not a re-branding of the University so the overall cost will be very minimal. The Crusader name has not been widely used across campus or on athletic uniforms for a number of years. Therefore, changes will be modest. In addition, we are using internal graphic design expertise to craft the Nighthawk imagery. Again, keeping cost to a minimum. Because most of our campus signage does not currently include a mascot, signage changes will also be minimal.