Dear University of Denver Alumni:
You are a vital part of our DU family, and as part of our efforts to keep you informed we want to let you know of upcoming plans at the University to conduct a study that will result in the adoption of a new mascot. The study, initiated by the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), will seek to include the input of all segments of our campus community. As an alumnus, your feedback and involvement will be a critical part of the process.
To help you understand more about this study, it’s important to provide you with some background on mascots at the University of Denver. We currently do not have an official mascot and have not had one since 2008.
Over the last few weeks, there has been considerable controversy surrounding the "Denver Boone" figure that was our mascot some years ago. As you may know, "Boone" has not been the mascot of the University since 1998. An effort to resurrect Boone was mounted by student and alumni groups in 2008, and this led to the assembly of a University committee to gather opinions from different sectors and consider the matter at length. It quickly became clear that Boone was a polarizing figure that did not reflect the growing diversity of the DU community, but rather was an image that many women, persons of color, international students, staff and faculty members found difficult to relate to as defining the pioneering spirit. Consequently, it was decided that Boone would not be our official mascot.
The current Boone figure that is seen at athletic events is in keeping with what was outlined in a letter sent to the community in 2008, allowing students and alumni groups to use the image as a celebration of the past, to the extent they may choose. The figure is not used in any official manner by the University, nor is any financial support provided by DU for its use by others.
The study will not be evaluating support for Boone; rather, it will be looking toward a new mascot that the entire DU community can get behind and embrace. The University has offered its support to the student government task force through its office of Marketing and Communications. During the next couple of months, a professional research study will gather input from students, alumni, staff, faculty and other members of the community about how we can express ourselves as Pioneers in a new mascot. This is a similar process that led to the new University logo that was successfully launched last year. The USG plans to engage in this effort through spring quarter, with a recommendation to be forwarded to the Chancellor’s office and the Board of Trustees.
Over the years, the University of Denver has evolved to become a diverse community that strives to be welcoming and inclusive for everyone. It is our intention to continue to involve all of the University’s many constituencies in this process and work collaboratively to find a celebration of school spirit that reflects our identity as the Pioneers, embraces our growing diversity and represents the exciting future of our institution.
We appreciate your continued support of the University of Denver. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name, class year and contact information.
Associate Vice Chancellor for University Advancement &
Executive Director of Alumni Relations