Officials with Northwest Nazarene University have announced the school is dropping its “Crusader” mascot.
NNU President Joel Pearsall informed students Monday that the university's new mascot would be the “Nighthawks.”
According to NNU officials, the change comes after students, community members and alumni raised concerns about the history of violence and destruction associated with “crusaders.”
The University formed a task force last year to determine a new mascot for the private school.
“The board determined it was wisest to look to the geographical area in which NNU is located -- and select an animal common to the area, but not already used as a mascot and nickname by other schools. Therefore, the board selected the nighthawk,” said NNU spokesman Rob O’Donahue.
NNU officials say the mascot change is effective immediately, but the Crusader mascot will remain on trophies and banners part of the campus' historical displays.
(Associated Press contributed to this story)