The College of the Holy Cross is keeping its century-old sports name “the Crusaders” after eight weeks of campus reflection amid concerns the name could offend Muslims.

The Worcester college’s board of trustees voted yesterday to keep the name, explaining it sees the moniker in a modern light.

“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,” Holy Cross President the Rev. Philip L. Boroughs and Board Chair John J. Mahoney wrote yesterday in an email to students, staff, faculty and alumni.

The issue was raised in a 2016 report compiled by a campus committee charged with examining the sports name and Mulledy Hall, a building named in honor of a Jesuit who had ties to slavery. Over the eight weeks of campus input, a working group created last fall received more than 1,800 responses and held two public forums.

On Friday, the editors of the college’s student newspaper announced they were changing the name of the publication from The Crusader to The Spire.


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