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Other Views: UND’s ‘hawk’ logo will do

FARGO -- Reviews of Ed Schafer's brief tenure as University of North Dakota interim president will be mixed, but he gets high marks for his handling of the volatile nickname and logo transition. Knowing that final selections for the university's ...

FARGO -- Reviews of Ed Schafer’s brief tenure as University of North Dakota interim president will be mixed, but he gets high marks for his handling of the volatile nickname and logo transition. Knowing that final selections for the university’s symbols would not be universally applauded, he resisted calls to reopen the nickname debate and he moved ahead speedily with final selection of the new Fighting Hawks logo.
The choice will do. It’s a modern, sleek depiction of a hawk incorporated into the traditional green “ND” identifier. The design respects tradition while embracing the future. The look lends itself to the school’s athletic pursuits and to other applications for university programs and activities.
Schafer’s role in getting it done cannot be minimized. He signalled early on that he wanted the nickname and logo matter done - at least officially. When he took the president’s job a few months ago, he was pressured to re-open the nickname discussion, but he did not. That matter, he said at the time, was settled in the administration of President Robert Kelley after years of unnecessarily extended controversy. Schafer did not bend to pressures, but instead worked to complete the other part of the identity change, the Fighting Hawks logo.
It’s done. Of course there will be fans of the old, discredited and retired nickname and logo who will never let go. They show up, mostly at hockey games, and don’t seem to understand (or do they?) that they are tarnishing UND’s regional and national reputation by stubbornly displaying retired school symbols that are seen in a lot of places as insulting at best, racist at worst.
Nonetheless, Schafer rose above the din and kept UND on track to complete the transition from old symbols to new. A difficult job well done.
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead’s Editorial Board formed this opinion.

Related Topics: NORTH DAKOTA FIGHTING HAWKS
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