Over 100 students rally for Warriors

Updated: May 6, 2005, 8:36 PM ET
Associated Press

MILWAUKEE -- About 100 students at Marquette protested the school's new "Gold" nickname on Friday, chanting slogans and waving banners in support of its former name, the Warriors.

The protest came two days after the board of trustees unanimously voted to shorten the Golden Eagles to just the Gold, rejecting a push started by alumni to restore the Warriors, the school's nickname when its men's basketball team won the NCAA championship in 1977 under coach great Al McGuire.

The school became the Warriors in 1954, but abandoned the moniker and logo -- which featured a profile of an American Indian wearing a headdress -- in 1993 because the imagery and a past mascot had offended some Indian groups.

The nickname debate was sparked last May when two trustees offered the school $1 million each to restore the Warriors name.

Rev. Robert Wild, the president of the Jesuit college, told the students the Gold embodied the school's tradition of excellence and its colors, blue and gold.

"The notion that we are gold is what we've been -- what all of you have been as strong fans and people who wear the color gold," Wild said.

Dan Maciejewski, co-chairman of the disbanded group Students for Warriors, said the decision smacked of a more rigid tradition.

"It's continuing a long tradition of Jesuit arrogance in not listening," he said. "This name was forced on us, just as the Golden Eagles was in 1994."

An online survey filled out by some 9,000 alumni, faculty, staff and students in November did not offer the Gold as a choice.

"They made it seem like they were going to change the name back," said Jason Tracey, a 25-year-old electrical engineering student. "There were two options, Golden Eagles or Warriors. All of a sudden it was just Gold."

The name change will take place when Marquette leaves Conference USA and joins the tougher Big East Conference on July 1.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press