Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How did GW decide on Revolutionaries as its new moniker and who made the decision?
Throughout the 2022-2023 academic year, the George Washington University solicited input and feedback from the GW community regarding possible new moniker options. Over the course of the year, GW received approximately 47,000 points of feedback from the community through a range of activities. Revolutionaries consistently ranked as the top choice throughout the moniker development process.
Taking all of this feedback into consideration, the GW Moniker Advisory Committee and GW President Mark Wrighton recommended Revolutionaries as the university’s new moniker to the GW Board of Trustees for consideration. The Board enthusiastically decided to accept the committee’s and president’s recommendation in May 2023.
Q: Who had the chance to give input on the process or the moniker naming options?
The university provided multiple opportunities for GW students, faculty, staff, and alumni to provide input and feedback throughout the moniker development process. In January 2023, the university published a broad call for GW community members to submit proposed names for the new GW moniker. The university received approximately 8,000 moniker suggestions. We developed a set of guiding principles that we used to narrow the list to ten names that we believe best reflect the spirit of GW.
We then invited all GW students, faculty, staff and alumni to rate the ten names and, based on the ratings, we subsequently reduced the list to four finalists. We then invited the community to rate videos representing the four finalist names.
Revolutionaries consistently ranked as the top choice throughout the moniker development process.
Q: I am a member of the GW community, and I didn’t get a chance to provide feedback on the moniker names. Why didn’t the university contact me to provide input?
The university made every effort to encourage participation from GW students, faculty, staff and alumni in the moniker development process. We kept the GW community informed of the process on a regular basis via GW Today stories, social media and direct emails that invited the GW community to provide feedback and rate the moniker options. We continue to maintain a dedicated GW website where GW community members can provide input and ideas on how we implement the new moniker moving forward.
Q: When will the Revolutionaries begin to be used?
The full adoption of the Revolutionaries moniker will be implemented during the 2023-2024 academic year.
Q: When can I get t-shirts or other merchandise with Revolutionaries on it?
Please stay tuned for more announcements about this in the coming weeks and months.
Q: I have opinions about this decision. Where can I give my feedback?
Please send all comments via the feedback form on the GW moniker website.
Q: Why was “Hippos” removed from consideration?
Hippos, or variations of it, was not considered in the moniker selection process because, it received negative feedback during engagement events from various members of the community, including student-athletes who are closely identified with the moniker in competition. The hippo and statue on campus will remain an important part of the university’s traditions.
Q: Are you changing the name of the university?
No. The university will remain the George Washington University.
Q: What is happening to the George mascot?
George will continue to be the university’s mascot.
Q: What’s the difference between a moniker and a mascot?
A moniker is a name that identifies the athletics teams and can be used as a nickname for people who are part of the university community. The mascot is a symbol that is used to energize the university community.
Q: Why did the Board of Trustees decide to discontinue the Colonials moniker?
The decision to change the Colonials moniker was the result of a thoughtful, deliberate process that spanned many years. This decision was not taken lightly. Ultimately, both the Special Committee on the Colonials Moniker and the Board of Trustees determined that the university would be better served by a new moniker that will help unify the GW community and increase pride in the institution. In the end, we all want to ensure that the university’s moniker accurately reflects the values, strengths and diversity of the George Washington University.