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Considering Mascot Change, Holy Cross Students To Learn More About Crusades

Paul Keleher
Creative Commons
Okane Hall at Holy Cross.

Students at Holy Cross will gather next week to better understand the history behind the name of the college’s mascot and school newspaper.

Some on campus have pointed out that “The Crusader” is also the name of a newspaper affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan. And it’s not like the Crusades are all that popular either.

Kevin Madigan from the Harvard Divinity School said the meaning of the word “Crusader” has evolved since Holy Cross adopted it in 1925.

“At the time, the word was really freighted with almost entirely positive implications,” Madigan said. “And, of course, over the subsequent 75 years of the 20th Century, the term has changed meaning, and it’s now associated with Western imperialism and arrogance and Islamophobia, Western aggression. These kinds of things.”

Madigan will be at Holy Cross on Thursday to deliver a lecture on the Crusades. It’s one of series of events on campus, as the school considers whether to make a change.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.