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New Mascot For Amherst, But 'Lord Jeffery Inn' Remains

The Lord Jeffery Inn is owned by Amherst College.
Karen Brown
/
NEPR
The Lord Jeffery Inn is owned by Amherst College.

With the selection of the Mammoths as the new school mascot, Amherst College has mostly closed the book on the controversial "Lord Jeff." One exception: a hotel owned by the school.

It's been 14 months since Amherst College decided to get rid of the mascot and rename the Lord Jeffery Inn, which sits next to the town common.

Lord Jeffery Amherst was a British general who suggested biological warfare against Native Americans.

The delay in the renaming doesn't surprise Liping Cai. He directs the tourism and hospitality research center at Purdue University, and studies hotel branding.

"It's more than just a name change," Cai said. "Lots of emotions at play and lots of stakes for many different people."

But Cai said it "needs to get settled."

"Otherwise the hotel would be hurt -- not only in terms of its business, but also in terms of its status and position within the community," he said.

A college spokeswoman said in an email that Amherst is attempting to "identify options that are appropriate to the relationship between the Inn, the Town and the College."

Professor Cai said Lord Jeffery can still be a part of the hotel -- perhaps included in a historical exhibit in the lobby.

Sam has overseen local news coverage on New England Public Media since 2013. He oversees a team of about a dozen full- and part-time reporters and hosts.
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