Monday, May 23, 2005

Nickname List Announced

An official Marquette Press Release, just in via e-mail:
“MU Voice” Marquette nickname voting to begin Tuesday; nicknames list announced

Students, alumni, faculty, staff and season ticket holders will begin voting Tuesday in an online survey to select the university’s athletics nickname. In a process previously announced by the Board of Trustees, “MU Voice” will allow the Marquette community to participate in a series of two binding votes. The first slate of 10 names plus the option of a write-in is available online in a survey conducted by Advantage Research, an independent research firm.

The nicknames included in the survey were compiled from suggestions received by the university in 1994, 2004 and 2005. The Nickname Advisory Committee had an opportunity to provide input on the slate of nicknames. The committee of students, alumni, faculty, staff and a member of the Board of Trustees was appointed by President Robert Wild, S.J., following the board’s announcement of the new selection process. The committee is charged with an advisory role in oversight of the voting process and to assist in the development of strategies to involve the entire Marquette community in creating the visual identity for the athletics nickname once it is selected. Additional committee details, including a roster, are online at

Nickname list

The following nicknames are listed here alphabetically but will appear in random order on the survey.

Blue and Gold
Marquette’s first nickname, circa 1892 to 1916, was used for the football team. Since then, “blue and gold” have remained Marquette’s official colors in athletics and throughout the university.

Marquette University’s namesake, Father Jacques Marquette, was a Jesuit missionary and explorer. The spirit of exploration, whether through seeking truth and knowledge in our classrooms or seeking athletic achievements in competition, characterizes Marquette, students and alumni.

Golden Avalanche
From 1924-37, Marquette’s football team was dubbed the “Golden Avalanche” by the sports media for the sight of the football players in golden helmets charging down the field, creating a “golden avalanche” of force. It is a name that represents a powerful force and overwhelming might.

Golden Eagles
Since 1994, Marquette’s athletics nickname has been the “Golden Eagles,” effectively combining the gold of Marquette’s athletics traditions with the bold, swift and forceful nature of Marquette’s athletics teams.

Golden Knights
Knights are known for bravery, dedication and their noble defense of important causes. Student-athletes are proud to share those same characteristics, as is the university. Knights are part of the athletics history of the Jesuits in Wisconsin, as Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wis., used the knights as its nickname for 95 years until it closed in 1975.

The name Hilltoppers has been connected to Marquette Athletics since 1917 and was first used because the original Marquette building was erected on top of a hill at 10th and State. The name represents a person who has attained great heights, like the lofty goals set by Marquette’s students and coaches.

The Marquette community has created a special tie to two saints: St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, and St. Joan of Arc, the namesake of the chapel on the Marquette campus. Saints are among our most revered figures, admired for their strength and perseverance, two qualities also found in every Marquette player and fan.

In one word, Spirit captures the character and energy of student-athletes and coaches, and the enthusiasm that students, alumni and fans bring to every game. At Marquette, spirit can refer to a higher power.

Voyagers take risks, explore new horizons, and push ever forward into new worlds. Like Marquette’s namesake, student-athletes push the limits of the possible. As an academic institution, Marquette encourages that same voyage toward truth and knowledge.

The wolf is part of the crest of the family of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, and is featured on the official seal of Marquette. It represents strength and fierceness, two characteristics always found at the heart of Marquette teams.

Write-in option
Voters will have the opportunity to select up to two nicknames on the first vote, one of which can include a write-in option, provided that selection adheres to the Board of Trustees' criteria. To be counted, write-in nicknames must be consistent with the university’s Catholic, Jesuit mission and the Board of Trustee’s resolution forbidding Native American imagery and references. Additionally, write-in suggestions of nicknames that are intended to mock or embarrass the university will not be counted. Any nicknames under review by the NCAA for their relationship to Native American imagery will not be counted. Examples of nicknames that will not be counted include Warriors (or any variation of the word, i.e., war) and Jumpin’ Jesuits.

Voting details

The first vote will run through Sunday, June 5. The two nicknames receiving the most votes will be presented to the Marquette community on Tuesday, June 7, for a second vote. The nickname with the most votes in the second vote will then be presented to Father Wild to be announced as Marquette’s athletics nickname in time for the university’s entry into the Big East Conference on July 1. Both votes are binding.

After a nickname has been announced, Marquette will engage the university community through focus groups and forums in the design of its visual identity.

Specific details of how to vote will be announced Tuesday.


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