The Denver public has spoken loudly, and they clearly don’t want DU to mess with the Pioneer nickname — by a 100-to-1 ratio.
For a University that wants more engagement with the local metro area as a high strategic plan priority, this firm rebuke of DU’s recent efforts to erase the Pioneer name should provide quite a clear roadmap of how NOT to win public favor.
DU’s Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation Karlton Creech has reorganized the athletic department’s structure after 17 months of observing DU’s high-performing athletic division. The changes come following the long-planned retirement of Ron Grahame, Creech’s principal deputy, who is retiring this week after decades of service to DU.
Joining DU will be three new faces — former Maine Senior Associate Director of Athletics Lynn Coutts; former Miami (Fla.) Senior Associate Athletic Director for Administration Josh Boone; and former Miami (Fla.) Assistant Athletic Director for Annual Giving Emily Boone. Two of these three new faces (Coutts and Josh Boone) will be on Creech’s senior team, along with several promoted DU veteran leaders taking on greater roles under Creech, specifically Deputy Athletic Director and Chief Revenue Officer Brandon Macneill, Deputy AD and Chief Operating Officer Stu Halsall and Deputy AD for Community and Diversity Bob Willis. Continue reading Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: Creech Reorganizes DU Athletics Division→
LetsGoDU has confirmed that a handful of DU students and administrative officials were the key drivers behind the removal of the words “Pioneer Card” from campus-wide ID cards, rather than being merely an “unfortunate error” or a “communications breakdown”. Emerging details suggest DU Communications, which previously offered those excuses, may also have been misled about the scheme.
A former (recently graduated) Clarion editor recently posted a Facebook comment to our previous article, confirming that the removal of the words “Pioneer Card” was not an error, but was “a student-run initiative”. (Although the commenter would not provide further information, it is known that this was not an act of the campus-wide University Student Government.) Further, as the ordering of all campus-wide identification cards is surely not within the purview of whatever students were behind the “initiative”, it is clear that a DU senior administrator must have been deeply involved. Continue reading Pioneer Card fiasco illustrates how DU’s version of ‘inclusive excellence’ fails community→
In yet another stunning move, DU is now issuing University ID cards which lack the “Pioneer Card” header that had previously been on the cards, as depicted in the above photos. Since at least 2006, DU had issued “Pioneer Cards” to all students, faculty and staff as DU’s official identity and access card. This decision effectively severs the most visual, tangible and authoritative Pioneer nickname linkage between the University and the cardholding DU community.
Only 18 months after telling us the Pioneer nickname would stay, DU has chopped away the word “Pioneer” from two major programs — without warning and without alumni engagement. And when confronted about this malfeasance, the school merely delivered some cordial excuses about why they did it. “We’re refreshing our approach,” they told us.
As of August 14th, 92% of voters in our recent survey simply do not believe DU’s excuses. Out of 283 participants, 259 said they believe DU will continue to remove the Pioneer name from additional programs, perhaps as a prelude to removing the nickname altogether. Indeed, as a DU alumnus and longtime friend of LetsGoDU put it when he wrote to us this morning: “You can’t spell ‘disingenuous’ without DU.”Continue reading Disingenuous DU needs to restore Pioneer nickname to programs→
The University of Denver’s New Vice-Chancellor for Marketing and Communications, Renea Morris, has confirmed to LetsGoDU that at least two long-standing programs under DU’s Division of Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence have recently been given name changes which have removed the word “Pioneer” from the names. The same “Inclusive Excellence” team was also believed to have been a central player in a number of other anti-Pioneer activities on campus between 2016 and 2018, including the 2017 so-called “mask ban” that now prevents the unofficial school mascot, Denver Boone, from appearing on campus. Continue reading DU confirms Pioneer tradition erasures by Division of Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence→
We wrote about North Dakota’s hockey uniform changes earlier this week. But what about DU’s hockey uniform evolution?
In large measure, much of DU’s hockey uniform concept dates from the early years of the DU hockey program in the early 1950s, when the Pioneers introduced home and away jerseys in both crimson and white with crimson pants, with the school/city name “Denver” placed in arching letters across the chest. Those jerseys also had a large red, white and gold elbow striping on the sleeve and shins with a later matching stripe around the bottom of the jersey, which was added in the 1960s. Those cornerstone design elements, with some periodic typestyle and color evolutions, are still on the jerseys today and are crucial parts of the DNA of Denver’s hockey look and tradition. Continue reading DU’s Hockey Uniforms Grow in Appeal Over Time→
Chris Butler picked a glorious way to end his 11-year professional hockey career, going out as a Stanley Cup winner.
Wearing the uniform of his hometown team, the St. Louis Blues, the 32-year-old former Pioneer defenseman took his final skate on NHL ice on June 12th, holding aloft the Stanley Cup Trophy that he’d helped his Blues to win, appearing in 13 NHL games last season. Over his career, Butler had appeared in 407 NHL games with St. Louis, Calgary and Buffalo, with the rest of his career spent mostly in the AHL, as well as a short stint in Sweden in 2012-13. Over his NHL career, he’d scored 14 goals and picked-up 72 assists for 86 points. Continue reading Former Pioneer All-American Chris Butler retires as Stanley Cup champ→
When a Chancellor departs, it is not unexpected to have staff changes, and as Rebecca Chopp steps down from her Chancellor position this July, one of her key Vice Chancellor hires has decided to leave DU for Harvard University.
DU’s Armin Afsahi, DU’s Vice Chancellor for Advancement since 2015, has just accepted a similar executive position as Harvard’s Associate Vice President and Dean of Development for Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). Starting in July, Armin will lead the fundraising for FAS — the largest division at Harvard, which includes all undergraduate programs, some graduate schools, museums, libraries and athletics. Continue reading Armin Afsahi Leaving DU for Harvard→
Puck Swami is the internet moniker of a longtime DU fan and alumnus. He shares his views periodically for LetsGoDU.
The year 2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the DU Fight Song. Best known by the title “D-Rah/Fairest of Colleges,” the song’s words were written in 1916 by then-DU Student Dorothy Hickey during her senior year. The song sprang from the era of great college fight songs, most of which were written between 1895 and 1920, as college football rose to become the dominant fall entertainment force in America, well before the emergence of professional football. Continue reading Puck Swami Presents: 100+ Years of the DU Fight Song→