Board of Trustees Reaffirms Holy Cross Will Continue to Be Known as Crusaders

The College of the Holy Cross will continue to be known as the Crusaders, the Board of Trustees decided Saturday following months of discussion and discernment.

In an email to the college community of students, alumni, faculty and staff members, College of the Holy Cross President Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J. and Board Chair John J. Mahoney said that, in considering the appropriateness of the school's moniker, the Board agreed by consensus on what it means to be a Holy Cross Crusader.

"While we acknowledge that the Crusades were among the darkest periods in Church history, we choose to associate ourselves with the modern definition of the word crusader, one which is representative of our Catholic, Jesuit identity and our mission and values as an institution and community," Fr. Boroughs and Mahoney wrote. "We are not simply crusaders, we are Holy Cross Crusaders."

Fr. Boroughs and Mahoney also recorded a video message to the college community. The text of the email message to the College community are available on the College's website.

The question of the appropriateness of Crusader name and mascot was raised in 2016 in a report compiled by the committee charged with coordinating and summarizing a discussion about the name of Mulledy Hall. The hall was named in memory of College founder Rev. Thomas F. Mulledy, S.J., whose ties to slavery had prompted consideration of renaming the building. Last fall, Fr. Boroughs convened a working group to coordinate a discussion regarding the appropriateness of the Crusader moniker and mascot. The group, which consisted of students, alumni, faculty and staff, was charged with creating opportunities for the College community to participate in dialogue and provide input. Over the course of eight weeks, more than 1,800 responses were received and two public forums were held on campus. The working group then presented a summary report to Fr. Boroughs and the Board.

On Saturday, the Board met to consider the report and the Crusader moniker. In addition to reaffirming the College's commitment to the name Crusader, the Board also has asked the College administration to assess how the visual representation of a Holy Cross Crusader can best align with the College's mission and values.

In the February 2 issue of the College's student newspaper, The Crusader, the editors announced their decision to change the name of the paper to The Spire. The newspaper is an independent student-run organization, and the feedback and discernment process undertaken by the editors was entirely separate from the College's examination of the appropriateness of the Crusader mascot and moniker.