Holy Cross College to Keep ‘Crusaders’ Nickname After Long Debate

The Holy Cross College Board of Trustees voted to retain the college’s “Crusaders” monicker after a long debate over whether or not the nickname was appropriate.

An uproar at Holy Cross College over the school’s century-old “Crusaders” nickname came to an abrupt stop over the weekend when the Board of Trustees reaffirmed their commitment to the name.

“While we acknowledge that the Crusades were among the darkest periods in Church history, we choose to associate ourselves with the modern definition of the word crusader, one which is representative of our Catholic, Jesuit identity and our mission and values as an institution and community,” the school’s President, the Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, and Board of Trustees Chair, John J. Mahoney, said in a statement. “We are not simply crusaders, we are Holy Cross Crusaders.”

The school didn’t stop at retaining the nickname. Rev.  Boroughs claimed in a statement that the “crusaders” monicker has evolved to mean “crusaders for social justice.”

“We’re crusaders for the importance of the intellectual life and thinking critically and analytically,” Boroughs said. “We’re crusaders for social justice and caring for the underserved. We’re crusaders for making a difference in our world. . .”

At the outset of the controversy, the editorial board of Holy Cross College’s newspaper wrote a column denouncing the nickname, claiming that they wanted nothing to do with the history of the actual crusades.

“No matter how long ago the Crusades took place, this paper does not wish to be associated with the massacres (i.e. burning synagogues with innocent men, women, and children inside) and conquest that took place therein,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote at the time.

“Everyone knows where everyone else stands,” James Gallagher, one of the student newspaper editors said in a comment. “It’s divisive, but I wouldn’t say the campus is divided. It’s not something that’s ruining friendships but it’s something people feel strongly about.”


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