Tuesday, Sep 30 2014 | Updated at 09:43 AM EDT

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Feb 03, 2014 03:13 AM EST

MBU Drops ‘Crusaders’ Nickname to Adapt To Global Society

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(Photo : MBU) MBU-vs-Lakeland

Maranatha Baptist University, a Christian college in Watertown, has initiated a hunt to find the school's next mascot following an internal decision to drop its 'Crusaders' nickname to adapt to the changing times. The school's Division III athletic teams have been using the name since its inception in 1968.

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As defined by Merriam-Webster, the word crusade means "any of the military expeditions undertaken by Christian powers in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries to win the Holy Land from the Muslims" -

The University officials claim that the moniker has become out-of-date in a 'more global society.'

Matt Davis, the University's executive vice president, said that they haven't received any complaints to change the mascot. Davis said that the name change was long overdue.

 "...I also agree that times change and we understand that context changes," Davis said. "Our world has changed since 9/11 and we've become a more global society with the Internet. The heartbeat behind this was not political correctness, but expanded opportunities for our students," Fox News reports.

The school's move to adopt a new nickname follows its name change from Maranatha Baptist College December.

Davis said that the school has already received hundreds of potential replacements for 'Crusaders' by students, alumni and university stakeholders. The new moniker will be disclosed during spring semester. The school's athletic uniforms and online publication, 'The Maranatha Crusader' will reflect the change beginning the fall.

Ibrahim Hooper, communications director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that his advocacy group hailed the name change.

Other American colleges and universities that use Crusaders" as a team name or as a mascot are not planning to introduce any change any time soon. The representatives from College of Holy Cross in Massachusetts, Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina and Capital University in Ohio said that until now the name did not pose any threat in their respective campus.

"It's important to understand how our alumni would feel about it," Nichole Johnson, Capital University spokeswoman, said. "If it ever did become a divisive issue, or a dominant one on campus, we would be happy to have that conversation."

In 1963, the Capital school decided to change the name to the Crusaders from the Fighting Lutherans, as it was considered inappropriate at the time.


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