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Other Views: Kree-e-ah! Cry of the hawk

GRAND FORKS -- That's the cry of the Ferruginous Hawk, by the way. And it ought to describe the University of North Dakota's hawk-like focus as the university sets out to make Fighting Hawks an unforgettable brand. Can that evolution happen? You ...

GRAND FORKS - That’s the cry of the Ferruginous Hawk, by the way.
And it ought to describe the University of North Dakota’s hawk-like focus as the university sets out to make Fighting Hawks an unforgettable brand.
Can that evolution happen?
You bet it can. And now - at last - UND has the time, the unity and the focus to make such a dream come true.
If we had to capture the mood of UND supporters in a word today, that word would be relief. Relief that the process has worked its way through to an orderly conclusion. Relief that the new nickname will withstand any challenge.
Relief, especially, that one of the most divisive and depressing chapters in UND’s long history has come to an end.
Relief isn’t the only feeling, of course. There’s lots of regret as well, and there has been ever since the university lost its chance to stay Fighting Sioux.
There’s resentment and recrimination roiling around, too.
But the dominant feeling that has come through letters-to-the-editor, conversations and other sources in recent months is the view, “We just want this to be over.”
The 14-months-long nickname-selection process generated some of that feeling. The hearings, the meetings and the decision-making seemed like they’d never end, so much so that fans in recent weeks were yearning for a nickname - any nickname - to make the process stop.
Of course, that partly was by design, because modern universities have so many “stakeholders” that involving all of them is going to take a long time.
That’s exactly what has happened since the selection process began. As columnist Lloyd Omdahl wrote, “the process reeks with integrity from start to finish,” involving as it did countless forums and other means through which people could express their views.
But now that the drawn-out process is over, people can see it for what it was: a bulletproof way of ensuring the widest possible acceptance for the new name.
People may grumble about the Fighting Hawks name itself, in other words. But they can’t really quarrel with the way the name was chosen, because at the end of the day, Fighting Hawks won in a full and fair vote.
That’s a great starting point for UND’s next chapter, which must be to make the Fighting Hawks’ screech into the university’s renewal cry.
Think of it this way: Truth be told, most university nicknames are bland. It’s the university that makes them shine: A bulldog is a bulldog, but the Yale Bulldogs stand out.
That’s the way UND should approach the matter, too. An extensive and inclusive process has resulted in a nickname. It may not have been our first choice, but now it’s our and everyone’s final choice.
So, let’s make it work - with the best logo, best marketing and best fan support UND and its boosters can supply.
What a fantastic challenge for the years to come.
And how wonderful that UND’s nickname - at long, long last - can once again become a source of good times, goodwill and great fun.
The Grand Forks Herald’s Editorial Board formed this opinion.

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