Dear Union College Community Member:
We invite you to be part of Union history.
In the first half of the 20th century, Union’s athletics teams became known as the Dutchmen when local sportswriters began using the name as a way to add color to their coverage. Although the College eventually began using the term - and later Dutchwomen - the moniker was neither selected nor endorsed through any formal or consultative College processes.
It is clear that relatively few current students have an affinity for the nicknames, and they do little to connect the College to prospective students. Additionally, not having a strong nickname – and the accompanying mascot – puts the College at a distinct disadvantage from a marketing and branding standpoint.
Starting today, the College will begin seeking ideas from our community for our nickname for the future. The submission form can be found on our web site, where you’ll also find links that provide more details about why we are considering making a change, evaluation criteria to consider when offering ideas and an extensive FAQ.
The timing for this work - which comes after months of preliminary discussion with students, including student athletes; faculty; staff and alumni and which has the support of our Board of Trustees - dovetails nicely with a broader branding effort currently underway and we are excited to work with our community to select a nickname and mascot for the place we all love.
We will be accepting submissions from anyone who has an idea to share through Feb. 24. We invite you to get creative and to channel your Union passion as we strive to find a name that will be associated with Union over the coming decades. Additionally, we plan to reach out in group sessions to seek ideas from students, employees and alumni during this period. We also hope you will connect with Union friends to brainstorm potential names and why they best reflect Union College.
Following the end of the submission period, a working group led by Communications and Marketing and Athletics will evaluate the ideas based on the criteria we have posted on the website. The goal is to develop a short list of candidates to share with our community this spring. Once we get feedback on those choices, we expect to make a final selection before the start of the next academic year.
In addition to providing ideas, we welcome your questions and feedback. Feel free to respond directly to this message if you have something to share.
We can’t wait to hear from members of our community. So, keep the ideas coming!
David Harris – President
Mark Land – Vice President for Communications and Marketing