Union College Garnet Charges logo
Union College Garnet Chargers small logo

How we got here


Milestones in the nearly yearlong journey that led to today’s announcement:

  • Early last fall, the College begins an initial exploration into the question of whether the time had come to move on from Dutchmen/Dutchwomen as a nickname as part of a broader branding update beginning at the same time.

    A Garnet Charges branded sports cap
  • October 2022 – January 2023: A group of approximately 20 staff, faculty, students, and alumni are engaged to begin the process of exploring the viability of a new nickname. Key stakeholders engaged included student-athletes, student leaders, faculty, and staff groups, and alumni ambassadors.

  • February: Union publicly announces its intent to explore alternatives to Dutchmen/Dutchwomen and invites suggestions and feedback. More than 1,100 students, employees, alumni, and members of the public offered 2,200 suggestions. From those, more than 400 unique options emerged.

  • February – April: Union’s nickname leadership team narrows the list to approximately 25 “semifinalists,” which were then scored against a set of criteria developed specifically for this project.

  • May 2: Union unveils four finalists for a new nickname: Garnet Chargers, Garnet Griffins, Garnet Hawks, and Garnet Storm and invites students, faculty, staff, and alumni to rate and provide written feedback on each option. More than 1,000 people respond. The College also announces its intention to retire the Dutchmen/Dutchwomen names at the conclusion of this process.

  • August 3: Garnet Chargers unveiled as the College’s new nickname. A mascot to accompany the moniker will be announced this fall.

"As a hockey team, we were looking for a name that matches the energy and passion we are striving to achieve on the ice every day. The Garnet Chargers name connects us to the city of Schenectady as well as embodies many of the core values of our program. While change may not always be easy, we are excited for the future of both our program and the College as we move forward as Garnet Chargers."

– Josh Hauge, head men's hockey coach