The College of the Holy Cross will continue to be known as the Crusaders, the Board of Trustees decided Saturday following months of discussion and discernment.
In an email to the college community of students, alumni, faculty and staff members, College of the Holy Cross President Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J. and Board Chair John J. Mahoney said that, in considering the appropriateness of the school’s moniker, the Board agreed by consensus on what it means to be a Holy Cross Crusader.
“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,” Fr. Boroughs and Mahoney wrote. “We are not simply crusaders, we are Holy Cross Crusaders.”
Fr. Boroughs and Mahoney also recorded a video message to the college community. The text of the email message to the College community are available on the College’s website.
The question of the appropriateness of Crusader name and mascot was raised in 2016 in a report compiled by the committee charged with coordinating and summarizing a discussion about the name of Mulledy Hall. The hall was named in memory of College founder Rev. Thomas F. Mulledy, S.J., whose ties to slavery had prompted consideration of renaming the building. Last fall, Fr. Boroughs convened a working group to coordinate a discussion regarding the appropriateness of the Crusader moniker and mascot. The group, which consisted of students, alumni, faculty and staff, was charged with creating opportunities for the College community to participate in dialogue and provide input. Over the course of eight weeks, more than 1,800 responses were received and two public forums were held on campus. The working group then presented a summary report to Fr. Boroughs and the Board.
On Saturday, the Board met to consider the report and the Crusader moniker. In addition to reaffirming the College’s commitment to the name Crusader, the Board also has asked the College administration to assess how the visual representation of a Holy Cross Crusader can best align with the College’s mission and values.
In the February 2 issue of the College’s student newspaper, The Crusader, the editors announced their decision to change the name of the paper to The Spire. The newspaper is an independent student-run organization, and the feedback and discernment process undertaken by the editors was entirely separate from the College’s examination of the appropriateness of the Crusader mascot and moniker.
I could not be more disappointed in this decision and the staunch illustration of privilege that so many people have displayed in their responses. What part of the history of the Crusades is in anyway in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ or the Jesuit way? Jesus’s teachings are so antithetical to the actions that occurred in the Crusades, its pathetic and pitiful. The President’s attempt to revise history is offensive. Its a shameless con. When oppressed people or those who lack white or male privilege, hear these words or monikers its terribly insulting. If we were NOT Jesuits, or NOT followers of Jesus the Christ–calling ourselves Crusaders would be tolerable. We would not be accountable to the teachings of Jesus Christ. I don’t know how one can reconcile the two. There is nothing redeeming or Christian in the manner the Crusaders acted during the Crusades. Saying we are Crusaders for Justice, Service, or Love calls upon one to endure a Jedi mind trick. Its a feeble attempt to appropriate names and meanings but no matter how you try the venom in the name still remains irrespective of the rhetorical gymnastic of our dear President. So just Stop it! Let us be DISCIPLES of Christ because we belong to the one who preached the Gospel to the Poor, Opened the eyes of the blind, and Set the Captives Free. Disciples who can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! Disciples, who worship God in spirit and in truth. Disciples who shall never be defeated because No weapon formed against us shall prosper. Disciples who are placed here to serve God and God’s People. Disciples who share God’s Grace and Mercy because it was extended to us!
Congratulations on an excellent decision. I’m a 76 graduate of the BC Eagles and always enjoy the fun of the old rivalry between two very proud Jesuit institutions.
I went to St. Mary’s High School in Waltham, MA and our HS mascot was the Crusader. I love the symbolism of the warrior going into battle for Christ. Your HC alumni have been, and continue, to bring the light of Christ into our very busy world. God Bless You.
“The Crusades were among the darkest periods in Church history”? Nonsense! They were in *response* to a dark period in church history–namely, the period of Muslim military conquest of Christian lands. We have no need to apologize for waging defensive war against invaders. If modern Muslims are offended by medieval Christians defending themselves, frankly, too bad.
Congratulations on courageously standing up to the P.C. culture. Your view of what a Holy Cross Crusader is is right on the mark and why the name should not be altered.
As for the student newspaper that changed its name because it didn’t want to be associated with the violence of the Crusaders, I presume they prefer to be associated with the butchery of the Army of Islam.
Nice way to throw your students under the bus to bail you out on this one. HC doesn’t associate themselves with The Crusades? And yet there is a knight with a sword running amok at football games and sold in your bookstore? People are saying that the editors of the newspaper caved to PC pressure but I think you caved to the ole boys club that pays your heating bill.