11 Aug 2021

Valparaiso Adopting Beacons Name

From The Associated Press, via

That decision came after a decades-long debate that has recently intensified because groups such as the Ku Klux Klan began using the words and symbols of the Crusades, which were a series of bloody religious wars starting in the 11th century between Christians and Muslims.

For years, Valpo’s sports mascot had been a helmeted figure in faux armor. But the school’s faculty and student senates each passed resolutions calling for a change, and the university’s alumni board of directors supported reassessing the team name’s appropriateness.

Beacons was chosen after a monthslong process that included nearly 1,000 suggestions and input from students, student-athletes, faculty, staff and alumni at the 3,100-student university, located in Valparaiso, about 15 miles southeast of Gary.

Just from my stance of being a sports logo and uniform fan, I like the name change. I think it’s a good pick. What really sticks with me about this is how quickly it came together. After watching the pro sports teams in Washington and Cleveland struggle for so long over the use of Native American mascots, Valpo put this together in a couple months.

I’m also impressed Valpo wanted to distance itself from hate groups. They’re a Christian university. In a time when I see so many politicians proclaim their faith, only to embrace hateful tactics, to see a faith based university distance themselves from hate groups is a positive statement. Even if this is simply PR, it’s much better than the alternative of ignoring it and hoping it goes away.