The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin said that the "Fighting Missionary" as mascot, which honored two murdered missionaries, was not "appropriate" for the college.
The college had taken the decision after surveying 18,000 alumni and current students, out of which 62 percent said that they thought missionary was not appropriate for college.
Another news release by the Whitman College said that the missionary name was "divisive and doesn't represent Whitman's commitment to inclusion."
College President Kathleen Murray wrote in a memo addressed to the campus community that they wanted to have a mascot that was "appropriately inclusive and welcoming to …show more content…
It was named after missionary couple Marcus and Narcissa, who were among the first settlers in the area and were later murdered.
Whitmans had arrived in the Oregon territory in 1836, and had taken the gospel to Cayuse tribe in Walla Walla Valley. "Our desire is to be useful to these benighted Indians, teaching them the way of salvation," wrote Narcissa.
However, many in Cayuse tribe took offense when Whitmans criticized "cultural practices of gift-giving" which was started by Euro-American marine captains as a means of inducing commercial transactions with the natives.
The college's website says that the Whitmans' "mission was to teach the Indians the gospel in the Presbyterian fashion and teach them the 'arts of civilization.'.. In 1847, measles broke out and decimated the Indians. Dr. Whitman treated both Indians and white settlers, and when so many Indians died despite treatment, Indian custom dictated revenge upon the medicine man. Thus the Whitmans were massacred, as well-meaning as they had been."
The school initially started as a seminary, but was changed into a full four-years college in