Whitman College plans to adopt a new mascot, according to an email from the school’s president.
WALLA WALLA — Whitman College has dropped its Missionaries mascot and officials are trying to choose a new one.
College officials announced the decision Wednesday, citing a survey of 18,000 alumni and current students, according to the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. Sixty-two percent of those surveyed reportedly said they didn’t think Missionaries was appropriate.
Another report said opponents considered the name to be “divisive and doesn’t represent Whitman’s commitment to inclusion.”
Whitman is a private liberal arts college in Walla Walla named after Northwest missionary Marcus Whitman. It became a four-year school in 1883. Its athletic teams compete in NCAA Division III in the Northwest Conference.
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A working group of faculty, staff, students and alumni will compile a list of new mascot possibilities which will be voted on by the college community this fall.
Whitman President Kathleen Murray sent an email about the change.
“Last fall, based on questions raised in the past about the Whitman mascot and conversations that were then taking place across campus, I decided it was time,” she said in the email.