Why Is Whitman College Dropping “Missionaries” As Mascot?
Has political correctness seeped into a nearby long-time academic institution, Whitman College in Walla Walla? Some say so, others say it's time for a change.
The school has conducting surveys and with the help of a "working group," are going to be dropping their nickname Missionaries in favor of something the group says is 'more inclusive.' The original mascot, or an older rendition, is pictured below.
The school was named after the famous historical Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, who in the mid to late 1800's engaged in missionary work throughout the Walla Walla area and surrounding region. The Whitman Mission, is a national historic site.
However, after new college president Kathleen Murray took over in 2015, she convened the working group to explore a new mascot and name. The College paper is also changing it's name from "The Pioneer," because it reflects "racism" and salutes the settlers who sparred with area Indians and took their land.
The mascot working group decided to change the name because the Missionary name (which associated with the original theological roots of the school) is "divisive and doesn’t represent Whitman’s commitment to inclusion.”
According to a survey done among some 18,000 alumni and current students, reportedly 62 percent felt Missionaries was an inappropriate mascot for the school today.
Although religious affiliation was ended before World War I, the school's roots stemmed from it's original foundation as a seminary.