Going gold

The board of trustees announced evening it will neither reinstate the former Warriors nickname nor keep the Golden Eagles name. Instead, the new nickname will be the Marquette Gold.

John Bergstrom, chairman of the board of trustees, announced the decision.

"As a Jesuit, Catholic university we must hold to the highest standards," he said.

Bergstrom, an alumnus from the 1960s, said he originally supported reinstating Warriors but changed his mind as the nickname debate wore on.

"After my own conversations with tribal leaders, I became convinced that the Warriors nickname could not be separated from past imagery," Bergstrom said. "We must be guided by conscience, not emotion."

The Board of Trustees did not reach their decision to abandon the nickname Warriors until early Wednesday afternoon, according to University President the Rev. Robert A. Wild.

Wild said the 38-member board voted unanimously to change the nickname to the Marquette Gold.

"I am really pleased that the trustees have chosen this direction for Marquette athletics," Wild said. "With Marquette Gold, the board has captured decades of traditions."

Bergstrom said the Gold conveys a sense of pride and unification.

"This is a unique blend of old and new," he said.

Wild said Golden Eagles was not being seriously considered because of its lack of enthusiasm from the Marquette community.

"After 10 years of trying to make the Golden Eagles work, it hasn't caught the imagination of students and alumni," Wild said.

In a survey this year respondents described the Golden Eagles nickname as being boring (57 percent), weak (55 percent) and common (52 percent).

Noting that it is a different era than 1954, when the Warriors nickname was established, Wild said reinstating the name could be offensive to certain groups — intentionally or not.

"We cannot teach one principle about respect for human dignity in our classrooms and then fail to act by that same principle when making decisions," Wild said. "We need to move on and look to the future."

Wild said he does not think deciding not to reinstate the Warriors nickname will affect alumni donations.

The university athletic department indicated it is satisfied with the board's decision.

"We're excited about this new direction. We know the board made a very thoughtful, yet tough decision," said Mike Broeker, athletic department spokesman. "With one very simple, yet powerful word the board has captured Marquette's athletic tradition."

A new MU monogram was introduced at the press conference, and Wild said the university will announce plans to select a new mascot in the fall.

Brigid O'Brien, director of university communication, said the new monogram was being instituted regardless of the nickname.

O'Brien said many people supported the new monogram in a recent survey and Wild said people have grown in their excitement about the new MU logo.

Tom Blair of the Tribune staff contributed to this report.