Union College is ditching its Dutchmen nickname

Union College is planning to retire the Dutchmen mascot and find a new nickname for its athletic teams. An announcement on the Schenectady school’s website says it’s looking for a new name that represents Union’s proud history and bright future.

This change is part of a comprehensive branding update at the school.

The liberal arts college has a long history. It was established in 1795. However, the Dutchmen name came along much later. Local journalists started referring to Union athletes as the Dutchmen in the first half of the 20th century, according to the school, and the name caught on. Teams were simply known as the Garnet before that, referring to the school color.

“Discussions with students, faculty, staff and alumni over the past few months have confirmed a lack of strong affinity for Dutchmen and Dutchwomen,” a message on the school’s website said.

Union is asking members of its community to submit suggestions online.

The school has also posted an FAQ responding to questions about why the name is changing and the criteria that will be considered for a new name.

Union hopes to unveil its new nickname before the start of the 2023-2024 academic year.