The mascot submission form is now closed. The new mascot will be announced this fall.
Submissions that were considered included the following qualifications:
- Be a unifying symbol for the EU campus and larger EU community.
- Represent positive qualities, ideals, or associations around which people can rally for decades to come.
- Be broadly relevant across the EU community, the student body, and generations of alumni.
- Be representative of the EU experience or history, either generally or specifically.
- Work equally well for men’s and women’s sports teams.
- Translate to a design that looks good visually and works well across a variety of mediums (uniforms, clothing apparel, web, etc.).
- Work well with the school colors of maroon and white.
The Evangel University Mascot Selection Committee consists of 15 people – 3 students, 3 alumni, 3 employees of EU, 3 members of the EU athletic department, and 3 at-large members.
April 5 – May 17
Open call for mascot nominations.
May 18 – May 31
Mascot Selection Committee will narrow submissions to 5-10 semifinalists that best unify and represent the Evangel community.
June 1 – 15
Mascot Selection Committee will seek feedback via focus groups consisting of alumni, students, and employees. The committee will bring a final list of 3-5 mascot nominations to University Leadership for consideration. The Mascot Selection Committee will then select the new mascot.
June 16 – July 15
Visual designs and artwork will be created for the new mascot. There will be a series of focus groups to finalize the design.
The new mascot will be announced to the Evangel community!
Evangel University’s Interim President Dr. George O. Wood, its Board of Trustees, and the President’s Cabinet have made the decision to retire the university’s Crusader mascot. The Crusader has been the official mascot since the school’s inception in 1955.
“The world has changed significantly since the 1950s, when the Evangel community, intending to depict strength, honor, and commitment to the faith, first identified a Crusader as the school’s mascot,” said Dr. Wood.
“Today, we recognize that the Crusader often inhibits the ability of students and alumni to proudly represent the university in their areas of global work and ministry.”
This decision was the result of a lengthy and thoughtful review process, including ad hoc committees and focus groups consisting of faculty, staff, students, and alumni going back as far as 2007. The overwhelming recommendation was the retirement of the Crusader mascot.
“I fully support the decision made by Evangel to retire the Crusader mascot and identify a new mascot that will serve the university well in the future,” said Dennis McDonald, athletics director.
The EU community will be given the opportunity to offer suggestions on a new mascot, and a committee comprised of students, alumni, faculty, and athletic staff will be created to guide the process.
The university plans to unveil its new mascot at the start of the fall semester this year.
Why retire the Crusader? And why now?
The world has changed significantly since the 1950s, when the Evangel College community, intending to depict strength, honor, and commitment to the faith, first identified a Crusader as the school’s mascot. Today, we live in an increasingly connected world where information is readily available, and where, through media and the internet, we are very much a part of a global community. An increased level of awareness as to how we are perceived by others prompts us to consider how any representation we make as a university has the power to impact, both positively and negatively, the Church’s reputation.
Essentially, we understand how our reflection of Jesus Christ is marred by our representation as Crusaders. The nearly universal connotation of “Crusader” is tied to the Crusades of the eleventh through thirteenth centuries, when Western Christians waged a series of “holy wars,” during which thousands of Muslims, Jews, and Eastern Christians were killed.
Is this a “cancel culture” reaction?
No. Ultimately, this decision was made because our Christ-centered focus requires it. This is not a cultural response to political correctness, but simply the right thing to do.
What does the Bible say?
Jesus taught in word and by example that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matt 5:44); and believers should not add any further causes of offense by how we present ourselves (1 Cor. 9:19-23).
Is this a big deal? We’re talking about a mascot.
The negative connotation and violence associated with “Crusader” imagery are not reflective of Evangel University’s mission and values. Evangel University is and always has been a faith-based institution, thus, the institution must be sure that representative symbolism is in alignment with its beliefs and speaks to its core values.
Is the Crusader embraced today by the university?
No. Every student and alum represents Evangel University, no matter where he/she travels or works, in the U.S. or abroad. Because of the negative connotations already stated, the association with the Crusader is often and intentionally avoided. This includes a depiction of the Crusader on gear such as athletic uniforms.
Who made this decision?
The first ad hoc committee charged with exploring the possibility of retiring the Crusader met in 2007. Another committee continued this work in 2015, which included several Evangel University students, alumni, and current employees. In addition, there were 27 focus groups that were asked to give input on the matter of the mascot. The overwhelming consensus was to retire the Crusader. The final decision was made by the Evangel University Board of Trustees in March of 2021.
How will the new mascot be selected?
The selection of the new mascot will begin immediately. Opportunity to offer mascot suggestions will be given to all Evangel University constituents.
Will I be able to give my opinion and nominate a new mascot?
Yes, all Evangel students, alumni, and employees will have an opportunity to submit nominations for a new mascot. In addition to updated information on this landing page, email and social media posts will be distributed throughout the summer to provide updates on the new mascot process.
When will the new mascot be revealed?
The reveal and official announcement related to the new mascot will take place at the beginning of the fall semester. Stay tuned!