Marquette Trustees to Continue Discussion
of Athletics Nickname
Dec. 8, 2004
MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University Board of Trustees decided
today it will continue its discussion of the university's athletics
nickname. The board will revisit the issue at a future board
meeting, ultimately resulting in a decision to remain the "Golden
Eagles" or return to the "Warriors."
Today's decision came after a productive conversation during
the board's December meeting. It was their first opportunity,
together as a board, to review feedback from recent outreach
efforts, including an online survey completed by more than 9,000
Marquette students, alumni, faculty and staff. The online survey
ran from Nov. 11 - 28, 2004.
"Last May when I said we would consider the question of
changing our athletics nickname, I stated that it would be a
thoughtful and deliberative process. We have collected an extensive
amount of information. We simply need more time to thoughtfully
consider all of it," said Marquette President Robert Wild,
S.J. "There is a diversity of opinion on the athletics nickname
among members of the Marquette community. In the end, the goal
of this process is to reach a decision that is in the best interest
of the university and consistent with our Jesuit, Catholic values.
We will take the time to do this right."
During the past
four months, Marquette has gathered the diverse viewpoints
on this issue through an open dialogue that has included:
- A 31-page online survey recently taken by more than 9,000
Marquette students, alumni, faculty and staff. Participants
were asked about their attitudes, emotions and viewpoints
about the "Golden
Eagles" and "Warriors;"
- Ongoing dialogue with
members of the Native American community;
- A fact finding
committee made up of trustees, students, alumni, faculty
- A series of stakeholder forums; and
- Focus groups made up
of students, faculty and alumni.
"Today's decision by the board to continue this process
reflects how seriously we take our commitment to have a thorough
discussion of the issue. But it is important to keep this in
its proper perspective," Father Wild said. "Marquette
University is first and foremost an academic institution committed
to educating men and women as well as having a faculty engaged
in teaching and research. We must not lose sight of our mission."
From 1954 to 1993, the Marquette athletics nickname was "Warriors." In
1994, it was changed to "Golden Eagles."
At Marquette's May 2004 commencement ceremony, Wayne Sanders,
vice chair of the Board of Trustees, offered a donation if the
university would change its nickname back to Warriors "in
a very honorable way." Marquette President Robert Wild,
S.J. immediately declined the donation, saying, "I am open
to a thoughtful discussion about the nickname, but this issue
is not about money. Any decision must reflect Marquette's Catholic,
In September, the university's Board of Trustees discussed the nickname issue
and made two decisions. The board passed a resolution explicitly stating that
Marquette will prohibit the use of Native American references, symbolism or imagery
in its athletic logo, nickname or mascot. And, they decided to gather more information
before concluding at a later date whether the school would remain the "Golden
Eagles" or return to the "Warriors" nickname.
Marquette has experienced great success over the past several years. The number
of students applying to Marquette has broken records three years in a row; Marquette
has risen in national academic rankings; its athletic teams have reached great
heights, including a trip to the Final Four in men's basketball; the campus has
undergone a physical transformation; and Marquette has enjoyed the most successful
fundraising period in its history, raising more than $300 million during the current
Board of Trustees meets quarterly, typically in March, May,
September and December.
For more information, please visit the nickname/mascot