UMass to keep Minuteman

When I was at the University of Massachusetts about 10 years ago, some rabble rousers decided to challenge the use of the Minuteman mascot. In an atmosphere of extreme political correctness, their claims that the Minuteman was a “racist, sexist, violent symbol” (a white man with a gun) got far too much attention from school administrators before being pushed back.

For the past several weeks, though, a new administration has been toying with the idea of replacing the Minuteman with a Gray Wolf. This time the athletic director and chancellor were blaming the mascot for poor sales of school merchandise, and actually trotted out the political correctness card as a way to try to support their position. It didn’t work.

I could have ranted and raved about this for pages, but my indignation has thankfully been short-circuited by and outpouring of derision for the change from students, alumni, and even a state senator who sought to mandate the use of the Minuteman.

The Minuteman is a proud ultram symbol of the state of Massachusetts, and it should be celebrated—with statues in Lexington and Concord, on the state quarter, and as the mascot of the state university. For now, our symbol is safe.

Update: an article in the Massachusetts Daily Collegian summarizes the failed 1993 efforts by the political correctness crowd to remove the Minuteman. It even mentions our counter effort, “University of Massachusetts Alumni and Students to Save the Minutemen”—UMASS for short—of which I was one of a grand total of two student members (there were no alumni involved, but we needed the “A”). If we’d had the web back then, we really could have wreaked havoc. I hope this issue doesn’t come up again in another 10 years, but if it does I bet the outcome will be the same.

4 Responses to “UMass to keep Minuteman”

  1. Michael Says:

    I’m glad they stuck with the Minutemen, but “Gray Wolves” would have been kind of cool and unique too. Nothing makes you appreciate a good nickname more than the fact that the Wild and the Mighty Ducks are fighting for a chance to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup.

  2. robert Says:

    geez…. you should move back to mass.

  3. Christine Says:

    Nothing to do with this – but after watching OddTodd, I think that YOU are the ONE. You. I’m almost sure of it.

    I still think we all need to move to Boston. (Just to bring this back on topic…)

  4. Eyebeam Says:

    Mike, when we were at UMass together I was distinctly under the impression that the school’s mascot was a dead cow. Those were strange days.
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