The Crusades represent a period in Medieval history when Christians enacted violent expeditions against Muslims and Jews in the Holy Land.
The decision has ended a debate among students, faculty and alumni which had intensified in recent years, according to the release.
Students and alumni have wanted this for decades
“I know there have been several attempts to convince the University Board of Directors to retire the mascot dating back to the 1970s, but those efforts never gained as much traction as this current one,” she said in the release.
Many are supportive, but resistance looms
Jenna Rifai, a student at Valparaiso, told the university’s newspaper that the mascot had always made her uncomfortable.
Other students remain resistant to the change.
An anonymous athlete told the newspaper said they believe the mascot change betrays one of Valparaiso’s “strongest characteristics” as a Lutheran university — tradition.
There are more changes to come
“… we want to make sure our symbolism is in alignment with our beliefs and speaks to the core values of the Lutheran ethos,” she said.
In the coming months, Valparaiso will nix its Crusader logos and imagery while forming a committee to consider a new mascot.
The university will continue to share information with the Valparaiso community about the mascot selection process.