COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST)–Capital University’s athletic teams will henceforth by known as the Capital University Comets.

The name change, from the Capital University Crusaders, comes after more than a year of discussion with the campus community.

Last year the university said it was exploring the change.

“We believe that the university nickname and mascot should be a unifying symbol that enhances school spirit and pride for all who are affiliated with Capital,” the school said at the time.

The Crusaders nickname was challenged by “students and faculty for its connection to the historic Crusades,” Capital said.

“The decision to change our mascot was not something we took lightly,” President Dave Kaufman said in a news release. “We believe the Capital Comets will be the unifying symbol to enhance school spirit and pride. It reflects the speed, power, energy, and strength associated with our students in sports and in the classroom, shines a light on our contributions to the community, and highlights the possibilities of the research championed by our scholars.”

The name-change process included an open call for nominations, an evaluation process by a diverse committee, and then a public vote from the Capital community.

“Members of the committee were drawn to Capital University Comets for connections nominators made to a comet’s ability to blaze a trail, to shine light in darkness, and to go great distances, to the qualities we desire in our students, alumni, faculty and staff,” JP Spagnolo, Capital’s vice president for strategic enrollment management and marketing, said in the release in a release. “We recognized that connection in the evaluation process and believe ‘Comets’ has an ability to connect with everyone invested in Capital University’s past, present and future.”

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