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July 13, 2020

By Andre Porter, Chair, Board of Trustees and Dave Kaufman, Interim President

Capital University to Retire Crusader Nickname and Mascot

Following a 15-month process of study, discussion and reflection, the Board of Trustees has approved a resolution to change the University’s nickname and mascot – Crusaders and Cappy – with the timeline for change to be determined.

We believe that the University nickname and mascot should be a unifying symbol that enhances school spirit and pride for all who are affiliated with Capital.  In recent years, our nickname has been challenged by students and faculty for its connection to the historic Crusades. The detailed study found a significant portion of the Capital Family shares this perspective.

At the same time, we know that this will be a difficult decision for many in the Capital family who have great pride and fond memories associated with Crusaders and Cappy. These rich traditions were also captured in the detailed study. The multifaceted considerations related to university nicknames and mascots are not unique to Capital, and this was not an easy decision for the Board of Trustees.

We believe this decision is a positive step forward. It’s an opportunity to unite the Capital community around our shared values and mission. It will also enable us to further engage the entire University in the important conversation around diversity, inclusion, equity and human dignity.

The nickname and mascot change will involve all areas of the University, but will especially impact our athletics department and student-athletes.  At this point in time with the ongoing impact of COVID-19, our top priority for our athletics department must continue to be maintaining the health and safety of our student-athletes as they plan for a return to competition this fall and beyond.

University leadership will create a schedule for a timely exploration and transition to a new nickname and mascot after the current challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have subsided.  In the meantime, we will continue to be the Crusaders.  We will honor the positive intention of this name by focusing on striving for justice and good in all that we do.  We won’t begin removing the Crusader name or brand from existing materials until it has been officially retired and our new mascot has been adopted and is ready to take its place.

In the coming months, all University stakeholders – including students, alumni, faculty and staff – will have opportunities to participate in the ideation and change process.  We look forward to a process that will bring the Capital Family together around creating a new nickname and mascot that best reflect the Capital experience our alumni, faculty, staff and students believe in and champion.

Thank you for your input, guidance and understanding as we move forward on this important initiative.