Valparaiso changes nickname from Crusaders to Beacons

By Kevin Kelley -

Valparaiso University has changed their nickname from Crusaders to Beacons, the school announced on Tuesday.

“Our new nickname directly connects to the University’s motto, ‘In Thy Light We See Light,’ and represents the Valparaiso University community in many ways,” said José D. Padilla, J.D., University president. “We are beacons of light and hope in our communities. We are beacons of change on campus, in our region and in our country. We are beacons of knowledge for our students’ academic, social and spiritual growth. Above all, we are beacons of God’s light around the world. We light the way for our students, so that once they graduate, they shine their light for others. We are all Beacons at Valparaiso University.”

Beacons was chosen after a months-long process that included nearly 1,000 suggestions and input from dozens of students, student-athletes, faculty, staff and alumni of the University. During this process, two themes emerged that were most important to Valpo constituents: Honoring the University’s history and character and emphasizing the light Valpo graduates shine wherever they land after graduation.

“Beacon” has a strong historical tie to Valpo. It has been the title of the University’s yearbook for the last 80 years, and it is also the name of its newest residence hall. Beacons is a nickname that honors our past, present and future.

Valpo’s prior nickname, Crusaders, was permanently retired in February 2021, following input from a variety of Valpo students, faculty and alumni. The new nickname, Beacons, reinforces the University’s commitment to ensuring that all feel welcome and represented at Valparaiso University.

Valparaiso competes in the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League (PFL) in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The Beacons finished the spring 2021 season 4-2 in PFL action.

Valparaiso is scheduled to open the fall 2021 season on Saturday, Sept. 4 on the road against the Indiana Wesleyan Wildcats. The game will be streamed live at IWUWildcats.com at 6:00pm ET.

Future Valparaiso Football Schedules

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Comments (16)

Great work, guys. Now that the world can see your virtue-signaling bona fides, hopefully this will propel you up the US News college rankings.

So what was the nickname between February 2021 (retirement of “Crusaders”) and adoption of the name nickname (Beacons established August 10, 2021)? Also, can someone enlighten me on why “Crusaders” was no longer politically correct? “Crusaders” were Christian and Valpo identifies as such. It’s all too much!

Thanks Tom for the entertainment value of reviewing all the mascot links. I’m going with “1. Rhode Island School Of Design: Scrotie The Nads” as the most politically correct since it represents approximately 50% of the population. How long until we get a more all inclusive “A..holes” mascot?

Thank you Kevin! Now I know. Wondering how long it will take for some hate group to start sporting Beacon imagery such that Valpo will have to change it’s name again.