McMurry University Announces War Hawks as New Mascot

McMurry University Announces War Hawks as New Mascot

By Gary Ellison Associate Director University Relations

 

 

 

ABILENE, Texas – The McMurry University Board of Trustees met today, March 11, 2011, and approved a recommendation by the Mascot Selection Committee to adopt War Hawks as the official mascot of the University. The announcement came at the completion of a five-month process that included two rounds of voting by students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University; focus groups held in nine cities; and extensive committee research and deliberation. Nearly 4,000 votes were cast, and 70% of those votes were in support of War Hawks. McMurry has not had a mascot since 2006 when the Board of Trustees voted to discontinue use of the Indians mascot after a lengthy dispute with the NCAA regarding their claims against universities with Native American mascots.{{more}} An official logo for the new War Hawks mascot will be revealed at an event to be held on Saturday, April 9, 2011 in conjunction with Spring McMadness and the McMurry Athletic Foundation Spring Showcase. The University has contracted with a company that specializes in athletic logos for universities, and various forms of the new logo will be developed for use on team uniforms, other apparel, equipment and promotional items. Additional information regarding the “reveal” event on April 9th will be forthcoming. Background Information: In November 2004, 33 NCAA-member institutions were asked to submit self evaluations to the NCAA National Office to determine the extent, if any, of the use of Native American imagery or references on their campuses. In the NCAA’s official press release Aug. 5, 2005, the listed penalties from the NCAA for schools using Native American nicknames and imagery included prohibition of hosting NCAA championship events beginning Feb. 1, 2006. In addition, if those schools were to compete in those championships at other venues, all Native American imagery that “promoted hostile or abusive references on their mascots, cheerleaders, dance teams and band uniforms or paraphernalia” would be prohibited from being worn or displayed at NCAA championship competitions. By August of 2005, 14 of those schools removed their Native American imagery and were able to keep their nicknames leaving 19 schools continuing its Native American nickname and mascot use. Since that time six of the 19 schools were approved by the NCAA to continue use of its nickname on appeal. Among those schools included Florida State University’s Seminoles and McMurry’s American Southwest Conference counterpart the Mississippi College Choctaws. Those schools won appeal based on an endorsement of the respective tribe. Five institutions chose to keep its nicknames with penalties of not hosting NCAA championship events, seven schools changed its nickname all together, and McMurry was the only school to elect to go without one. As of Friday, the University of North Dakota, one of the five schools deciding to continue as its original nickname, will discontinue use of its nickname “The Fighting Sioux” Aug. 15, and McMurry becomes the eighth school to change its nickname. McMurry has contracted with Studio Simon out of Louisville, Ken. to brand McMurry’s new nickname. Various forms of the new logo will be developed for use on team uniforms, other apparel, equipment and promotional items. Additional information regarding the “reveal” event on April 9th will be forthcoming. Saturday night’s baseball contest between McMurry and Texas Lutheran at 7 p.m. will mark the first home event in which McMurry’s “War Hawks” will take the field in athletic competition.