Missouri University Has New Mascot After Dropping Crusaders

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A private Christian university in Springfield announced Wednesday that its new mascot will be Valor, symbolized by a horse's head.

Evangel University announced in March that it was dropping the Crusaders mascot the school adopted in the 1950s. The school said in recent years, “Crusader” has become associated with the Crusades between Christians and Muslims in the 11th to 13th centuries, and has more generally been seen as promoting “aggressive religious oppression and violence” and linked to hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.

University officials said Valor and the horse logo “symbolizes the character and strength of Evangel,” The Springfield News-Leader reported.

Evangel dropped Crusaders shortly after Valparaiso, a private university in northwest Indiana, did the same.

The university said it collected 700 mascot submissions before choosing the new mascot.