The school, a private institution, was founded in 1821 and originally called Columbian College under an Act of Congress signed by President James Monroe. It filled the wish of the late first President who wanted the District of Columbia to be a center of learning and research. In 1904, then Columbian University (upgraded in 1873) was renamed George Washington University following an agreement with the George Washington Memorial Association. The sports moniker "Colonials" was added in 1926 with the colors buff and blue from the soldier uniforms. "Colonials" was the nickname routinely applied to Washington's soldiers.
As if there should be any compelling reason to take such a stupid action, listen to the rest of the story. The originator of the petition drive, Rachel Yakobashvili (nationality unknown) thinks a more suitable name might be the "Hippos" or "Water Horses." The hippopotamus, the lumbering land and water animal that looks so contented and calm is actually the number one killer of humans in Africa. Not only is such a substitute nickname pathetic, but I wonder if Ms. Yakobashvili understands the significance of what the nickname "Colonials" stands for. Quite contrary to her comment on colonialism, it stands for the founding history of Americans when brave men risked their all in uniform as "Colonials" fighting to end the impact of colonialism by Britain in former Crown colonies. Instead of wasting her school time on such drivel, perhaps she should take a course in real American history. But, then again, she probably wouldn't like it, stuck in her desire to change a nation that was kind enough to let her study here.
And here's some more irony. The story was published in the university student newspaper, The Hatchet, and "Hatchets" was one of the unofficial nicknames that was used for sporting events in the early days of the school. Don't look now, but I'm sure it won't be long before they'll be going after the newspaper name as well. And hopefully, the petition drive will fall flat on its face and the student association doesn't have to waste time on another issue just trying to change another American college tradition. Fight on, Colonials, fight on.
H/T to Breitbart News