University of North Dakota unveils new 'fierce' logo
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The University of North Dakota on Wednesday unveiled the logo for its new Fighting Hawks nickname, about four years after the school dropped its Fighting Sioux moniker.
The new logo depicts a white hawk head with black shading and a black eye, atop the letters "ND" in green. UND also unveiled a "North Dakota Fighting Hawks" wordmark, or descriptive name, to enhance the new graphic identity.
"We will begin using it immediately, but it will take awhile to transition everything to the new logo," Athletic Director Brian Faison said. "Many of the uniforms are already ordered, so it will take some time to change it out. But you'll begin seeing it this fall on the football helmets."
UND plans an Aug. 13 merchandise launch.
The NCAA in 2005 placed UND on a list of schools with American Indian nicknames, logos and mascots that it found objectionable. UND was the last holdout on the list, not retiring its nickname until 2012 after the school failed to win approval to keep it from the state's two Sioux tribes. State residents also voted overwhelmingly that year to dump the nickname and American Indian head logo that was first unveiled in the 1930s and redesigned by a Native American UND alumnus in 1999.
The Fighting Hawks nickname was selected in a vote of alumni, students and staff. It beat out Roughriders, Nodaks, Sundogs and North Stars, and has been in use since late last year.
New York-based SME Branding worked for several months to design a logo to accompany the new moniker. Interim UND President Ed Schafer made the final decision.
"They did an excellent job of translating what they heard," Schafer said of SME officials who spent time on campus. "That we have a long and proud championship tradition, that we are determined and persevere on the playing field, that we are proud of our state and our heritage, that we are progressive and moving forward."
UND volleyball player Chelsea Moser said the logo will take some getting used to, "but I'm glad we finally have a logo."
"I want unity more than anything," she said.
Many UND alumni and others had favored keeping the old nickname, saying it honored Native Americans and was a proud tradition.
Moser described the logo as modern and simple.
"It's not cartoonish," she said. "I would describe it as fierce."