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Notable UND alumni ready for next chapter with new nickname

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The Fighting Hawks might not have been their first choice for a new UND nickname, but some notable alumni are looking forward to the next chapter in school's history.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The Fighting Hawks might not have been their first choice for a new UND nickname, but some notable alumni are looking forward to the next chapter in school's history.

"While I was a big fan of Bison Slayers, I can live with Fighting Hawks," Dave St. Peter, Minnesota Twins president and a UND nickname selection committee member, tweeted shortly after hearing the news.

Ed Schafer, a former North Dakota governor who will serve as UND interim president beginning in January, said while he voted for the Roughriders, it's time to move on.

"I think it's an important step forward for the university because it's been kind of hanging around, waiting," he said. "There really hasn't been a chance to dig in and say, 'Let's go make this happen.' Now we get a chance to step out and do something. I'm excited about it."

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., did not indicate how she voted. But she is confident the new nickname will be accepted.

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"Students and graduates of UND have great pride in our school, and I have no doubt they will join together around the new nickname to cheer on the Fighting Hawks for years to come," she said. "The open process and heavy input from the UND community was a testament to the hard work and dedication of the students, faculty and alumni who led this important change, and I'm proud to call UND my alma mater."

Former North Dakota Rep. Earl Pomeroy said he is eagerly anticipating the new era for UND, but he also will hold on to a bit of the past.

"My wonderful university is about so much more than a nickname. I am glad this matter is finally resolved," he said. "While I will be wearing my Sioux gear for years to come, I will also proudly have Fighting Hawks gear in the mix as well. Here's to getting a great logo and a new chapter for UND. Go Hawks."

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