Thursday, October 23, 2008
Boone the Pioneer, the longtime face of the University of Denver, will stay in retirement after the school's chancellor called the cartoon "divisive" and said it doesn't reflect diversity.Now I'm more confused. Discovering places, that's a white guy thing? This will be news to Laura Wilder or any of the black pioneers of the Pacific Northwest. But this gets even weirder in the story:
The cartoon image of a grinning pioneer with his coonskin cap was the official mascot of the university from 1968 until 1998, when he was replaced by Ruckus, a red-tailed hawk.
Alumni and students urged Chancellor Robert Coombe to return the retired mascot to official or semi-official status.
Coombe sent an email to the university community on Monday rejecting that idea.
The e-mail read, in part, that DU "cannot adopt an official mascot that has a divisive rather than unifying influence on our community."
Coombe wrote that the cartoon pioneer "does not reflect the broad diversity of the DU community and is not an image that many of today's women, persons of color, international students and faculty, and others can easily relate to as defining the pioneering spirit."
[University spokesman] Berscheidt said the university would allow students and alumni to use the trademarked image of Boone because DU is done with it.I suspect this has more to do with the current mascot being plastered on lots of shirts and memorabilia for sale; printing a new mascot would cost its marketing agents money. I'm not sure what is more fearsome or powerful about Ruckus the Red Hawk over Boone the Pioneer, but if you're going to keep the hawk why not call yourself the Hawks? I don't think any other team in WCHA has it.
"People can walk around with Boone everywhere if they want, it's just not the official logo or mascot and no money will be used to promote it," Berscheidt said. "Students and alumni are welcome to use Boone any way they wish."
h/t: Misantrhopic Frat Boy, who has other name suggestions.