Once again, recent University of Denver administrative action appears to be sabotaging the Pioneer nickname, this time quietly removing “Pioneer” from two long-standing, on-campus programs, the Pioneer Awards and Pioneer Passage. Both programs have recently been renamed to eliminate the word “Pioneer,” directly contradicting a 2018 DU Board of Trustees decision to keep the 95-year-old Pioneer nickname in place.
You’ll recall that in January 2018, we broke the story that a so-called “mask ban” was suspiciously enacted by DU to prevent the “Denver Boone” mascot from appearing at DU home games. Within weeks of that debacle, we reported that the DU central administration was secretly colluding with student groups to change the “Pioneer” nickname to “Trailblazers”. Within weeks of our stories, after vociferous objections from the alumni and fan community, then-DU Board of Trustees Chairman Doug Scrivner sent out a damage-control email with assurances that the Pioneer nickname was not going to change.
Still, the Pioneer nickname continues to be slowly scrubbed away from within. Since many of our DU fans and readers are not currently on campus, we believed it was our duty to report on this sabotage so that these quiet steps could be brought into the public sphere.
First, then-Chancellor Rebecca Chopp quietly renamed the Evans Award, the highest recognition the University could bestow, as the Chancellors’ Medal, in order to help rid DU of its association with its western pioneer founder, John Evans.
Next, in early 2019, DU’s long-standing student awards program, The Pioneer Awards, was suddenly (and quietly) renamed the Crimson and Gold Awards.
And we now have proof that Pioneer Passage, the meaningful induction ceremony during first-year orientation week, has apparently been renamed New Student Convocation, set to debut this September. The projected orientation schedule created on Apil 29th, 2019 had “Pioneer Passage” scheduled for 10:45 AM on Tuesday September 3rd, while a July 22, 2019 version of the same schedule now has “New Student Convocation” slated for the same time and date, proving that DU dropped “Pioneer Passage” name sometime between April and July of 2019. Continue reading DU ‘Pioneers’ nickname once again at risk due to internal sabotage and erosion