Evangel University, a Christian college in Missouri, announced it is dropping its Crusader mascot, the official mascot since the university’s founding in 1955.
“The world has changed significantly since the 1950s, when the Evangel community, intending to depict strength, honor, and commitment to the faith, first identified a Crusader as the school’s mascot,” the university’s interim president, George O. Wood, said in a statement.
The university said in an FAQ that “our reflection of Jesus Christ is marred by our representation as Crusaders. The nearly universal connotation of ‘Crusader’ is tied to the Crusades of the eleventh through thirteenth centuries, when Western Christians waged a series of ‘holy wars,’ during which thousands of Muslims, Jews, and Eastern Christians were killed.”
Evangel is soliciting ideas for a new mascot and plans to make a selection by the start of the fall semester.