"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Marquette Golden Eagles

After more than a year of active consideration, speedbumps, aborted processes, and unprecedented national interest, Marquette University has officially adopted Golden Eagles as its nickname. The Marquette community, some 100K eligible voters, recently completed two rounds of voting to select a nickname. The vote, which was administered by Advantage Research, left little doubt with Golden Eagles easily outdistancing the other finalist, Hilltoppers, 54% to 46%.

Also of note, Marquette released all of the voting data from the two rounds -- including write-in votes for Warriors. During the first round, 5,587 write-in votes were cast (18% of the vote) including 3,264 for Warriors (10% of vote). Golden Eagles led the initial round of voting with 39% of the vote, followed by Hilltoppers with 30%. Golden Avalanche secured 16% of the vote, followed by Golden Knights and Explorers at 12% each.

Interestingly, in the final round of voting Golden Eagles was the overwhelming choice of every MU community except alums. Students voted for Golden Eagles by a margin of 64% to 36%. Alums favored Hilltoppers by a margin of only 2%. Here is the link to the pdf file with the exhaustive voting details.

Kudos to the BOT and the Administration for ensuring transparency in this voting process. It would have been easy to bury the preliminary information, but by releasing all of the results MU did the right thing. While 'Gold' was a disaster, MU finished strongly with the voting process, in particular because MU did not rely on in-house resources.

You can check out all of the info at the MU news site here.

Media Coverage:
- Here is the Associated Press story on the nickname.
- Don Walker of the Journal-Sentinel reports on the news here.

Fr. Wild's email:
Dear Members of the Marquette Community,

I am pleased to announce that our athletics nickname effective July 1st will be the Golden Eagles. This decision was made by you, the Marquette community, through the “MU Voice” voting process. I want to thank all of you who participated in “MU Voice” for taking the time to vote for the nickname that we will use as we enter the Big East Conference on July 1st.

The name Golden Eagles has a proud association in Marquette’s history since it was our name from 1994 to the present. I am pleased that this tradition will continue in the Big East Conference, one of the most prestigious and competitive conferences in the nation. The Big East is also known for the academic quality of its student-athletes, and our Marquette student-athletes will be no exception. They excel both in the classroom and in athletic competition.

Ultimately, more than one-third of the Marquette community eligible to vote participated in either phase one or phase two of the voting process, with 35,777 total individuals casting votes. Thank you for your passion and enthusiasm for Marquette University. Your dedication is vital to ensuring our future progress and success.

Let me also thank Advantage Research, Inc. the independent firm that administered “MU Voice,” for creating and executing an honest, fair and scientific process. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the work of the Nickname Advisory Committee, comprised of representatives from the Marquette community, for ensuring the integrity and transparency of this process.

For additional information about our athletics nickname, including press releases and voting results, please visit http://www.marquette.edu/nickname.

Of course, we know that Marquette is first and foremost an academic institution committed to educating men and women to be a leaven for good in our society. We must not lose sight of this important mission rooted in our 450-year Jesuit tradition. Thank you for your care and concern and for the pride we share in the values of this wonderful university.

We Are Marquette!

Sincerely, Robert A. Wild, S.J.

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