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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