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Whitman Drops 'Missionary' Name for Mascot

April 7, 2016

Whitman College, a liberal arts institution in Washington State, is named for Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, 19th-century Christian missionaries. But the college announced this week that its mascot will no longer be known as "the Missionary." Polls of students, faculty members and alumni all suggested support for changing the mascot, which many said was inappropriate today. A committee will work on suggesting a new mascot.

In February, The Whitman Pioneer, the student newspaper, announced that it was starting the process of changing its name. "Critically engaging in Whitman College’s past, and, in particular, its relationship to settler-colonialism and white supremacy in the Inland Northwest, is extremely important," said a statement by the newspaper. "By changing the newspaper’s name, we hope to encourage greater discussion and engagement with this history and move away from the traditional Whitman narrative. At the same time, we aim to have the name better represent the diverse, tolerant and curious community the paper serves."

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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