The Dartmouth Indian
Release: Dartmouth College Public Affairs
first Dartmouth College intercollegiate athletic contest, a baseball game, was played in 1866. At that time, green was adopted
by the students as the college color. Green has been associated with the College and its athletic teams ever since.
in the 1920s sportswriters (primarily representing Boston's many newspapers of the day) began to regularly use the nickname
"Indians" in their coverage of Dartmouth's football team as it achieved a position of national prominence. The usage was grounded
in reference to the College's founding mission in 1769 - the education of American Indian youth (known today as Native Americans)
in the region.
For about 50 years thereafter, the nickname "Indians," though never officially adopted by the College,
was used actively and interchangeably with "the Green," "Big Green" and "Hanoverians" by the news media and in Dartmouth publications
in coverage of the College's teams. The Indian symbol also appeared on uniforms of athletic teams during this period.
1972, Dartmouth renewed its commitment to the education of Native Americans. Recognizing the adverse effects of use of the
Indian symbol upon the College's Native American Program and its students, an ad hoc committee of the Dartmouth Alumni Council
encouraged reduction in use of the symbol. In 1974, the College's Board of Trustees stated that "use of the (Indian) symbol
in any form to be inconsistent with present institutional and academic objectives of the College in advancing Native American
By the mid-1970s the Indian symbol, which had never been formally
adopted by a College governing body, was discontinued.
Since that time, the primary nickname for Dartmouth
teams, again never officially adopted, has been the "Big Green." PMS 349, a dark green referred to frequently in relation
to the College as "Dartmouth Green," is the specific color used in publications relating to Dartmouth athletic teams and in
other College publications.
During the past 25 years, various student initiatives have proposed numerous candidates
for a tangible mascot, symbol or nickname that could be a companion or alternative to "Big Green" when identifying Dartmouth
athletic teams. To date, none of these recommendations has received sufficient broad-based support from students or alumni
to merit adoption.
Which Way Did They Go?
We must find them... We are their
The Big Green College fingers "the
press" for Indian image...
Claims that it never officially
adopted any symbol or logo.
Today, chaos still reigns after
D-students adopt ad-hoc mascots
of all sorts.
Without a symbol The College looses
in licensed products.
It have been should a Tuck biz-case 30 years
but apparently never was or has been!
( Ironically, Tuck
is hosting a seminar on BRANDING in October 2004.
campus "cred" if The College's own image is still in flux? )
For approximately 50 years, representing 25%
of the College's history up to 1972
the year when the College re-awakened its passion
for Indian education,
an innocent fraud of sorts was created on
the students and alumni.
The College overtly approved and
co-opted the Indian moniker,
which was created by "the press," and
transformed it into
emblems on sports uniforms and College lore.
In 1974, The College banned all use and
references to the Indian symbol.
leaving many alumni bruised.
Today, The College sits
paralyzed on this
Historically, the Indian Era was brief.
"Officially," it never was...
However, for about 50 classes, we know that it was!
Still, it's time for a make-over.
Done with skill, the leaders will follow once again.
Besides, Ol' Eleazar was far
from unique in its quest to educate Indians. John Harvard beat Eleazar by 119 years! And as for Eleazar, well what
can be said, he was a bulldog... yup, a Yalie!
"Given the highly charged religious atmosphere, it is not surprising that in 1754 Eleazar Wheelock,
another Yale-educated minister, founded Moor's Indian Charity School in Lebanon, Connecticut. Wheelock was impressed by the
promise of his Indian students (among whom was the future Mohawk leader Joseph Brant), but especially by a Mohegan convert,
Samson Occom, whom he had tutored privately from 1743 to 1747. With Occom's help he secured funds from England that allowed
him in 1769 to found Dartmouth College, originally intended as a school for Indian youths."
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