DU Fails to Respond to Pioneer Nickname Issue

It’s been nearly a month since our Sept. 9th piece when we asked DU to publicly affirm the Pioneer nickname as well as reinstate the Pioneer nickname to those programs where it was dropped. To date, DU has failed to respond.

In 2019, DU senior administrators removed the Pioneer nickname from at least three longstanding programs. Pioneer Passage was changed to “New Student Convocation”; the Pioneer Awards were changed to the “Crimson and Gold Awards” and the Pioneer ID Card abruptly appeared without the Pioneer name (although after the DU community caught wind of this, the card was ‘restored’ with an option for cardholders to choose cards without the ‘Pioneer’ name).  For more details on these changes, see the link here.

DU has failed to provide a clear and public response to these ongoing issues, or to affirm the Pioneer name in any way in an apparent continued attempt to play on all sides of the issue.

Over the last month since our requests, several sources advised LetsGoDU that the University was “working” on a response. At first, there was a senior-level meeting when the issue was discussed. The result was a proposed letter directed to alumni only — a tactic they tried back in 2018. Such a limited response has clearly been demonstrated as ineffective as DU’s own senior administrators have continued to peel away the Pioneer name at will in 2019.

Following the proposed letter (which was never issued), further investigation uncovered that the issue was later kicked over to senior leaders, select staff and the Board of Trustees at a mountain top retreat two weeks ago and that a public DU response would be forthcoming.

All we have heard from DU since then is silence. And silence on a matter such as this speaks volumes.

DU must take a firm, public stance on this issue and live with the consequences, one way or the other.

It’s almost Homecoming and this question is certain to be raised by many DU stakeholders. If DU is planning to respond, it would be wise to get it done immediately.

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LetsGoDU continues to source evidence that shows collaboration between senior officials and staff to remove the Pioneer nickname – even after the 2018 Board of Trustees endorsement of the nickname.

7 thoughts on “DU Fails to Respond to Pioneer Nickname Issue”

  1. The Pioneer logo has also been dropped from the Jr. Pioneer youth hockey program that calls the Ritchie Center. They still go by “Jr. Pioneers” or JPH, but the logos used on helmets and uniforms is now just the Denver arch. Did notice that there are a couple of t-shirt designs available in Joy Burns and at the gift shop in the Coors Fitness Center that actually use the word “Pioneer.”

  2. Wasn”f it just last year, when the Chairman stated “Pioneers forever” Time for the Trustees to put the administrative muckty mucks back to work on academics, endowments, tuition, etc.

  3. Question…with Homecoming approaching, have there been any “rules” with respect to floats, signage, etc. to be displayed during Homecoming festivities? If not, I suggest a HUGE level of support to show that Pioneers (AND Boone – since they’ve unceremoniously deleted him) is still a very important element in DU’s history. The PC revolution has truly jumped the shark, and I for one, am tired of hearing about the dropping of names/mascots for a small minority. BTW…should the DU senior leadership believe the “Trailblazer” is a better option, it isn’t. It’s simply a synonym for “Pioneer.”

  4. I am still hoping the New Chancellor, New Board Chair and Trustees will seize this Homecoming opportunity to really bring the school together and make a full public commitment to Pioneers.

    However, the fact that this public statement has yet to be made leads me to believe that there is still considerable opposition to the Pioneer nickname among the senior leadership team.

    I believe this is a multi-million dollar decision and should DU fail to please its largest constituencies (its alumni and fans), the implications could be severe. Tick-tock.

  5. CC just announced a redesign of the CC Tiger logo and the retirement of the name, Prowler. No reason given by the school as to why they’re dropping the Prowler name which only leads some of us to make assumptions given the politics and PC state of affairs at CC. I’m sure alums and fans will get stonewalled as well when we inquire as to the reasons why the Prowler name is being dropped.

    We may be rivals on the ice but I am in 100% support of you in your efforts to retain and celebrate the Pioneers nickname. -Dan Maddock

  6. In the meantime, alumni and actual supporters’ lukewarm feelings to the administration cause ambivalence towards DU…leading those on the fence about contributing dollars to the school, showing up to homecoming, and buying season tix, to decide to PASS until this issue is resolved. It continues to baffle me, that they care more about the hurt feelings of a handful of low level administrators, than the good will of tens of thousands of alumni.

  7. Par for the course at this point. Still haven’t donated or paid for game tickets/merchandise over the past 2 years after many years as a financial supporter. Just posting to boost numbers. Nothing more to add than has already been written.

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