Amherst College Dumps Controversial Colonial Mascot

Amherst College announced Tuesday that it was dropping the colonial military commander who the town is named after as its unofficial mascot, after students raised concerns about his endorsement of using smallpox-infested blankets to wipe out Native Americans.

The Massachusetts liberal arts college joins a gaggle of schools and towns that in recent months have distanced themselves from figures with controversial pasts. Some students at the college considered Lord Jeffery Amherst to be a symbol of white oppression and thus unfit to represent the school, according to The New York Times.

The Times reported that college officials said they decided “not to employ this reference in its official communications, its messaging and its symbolism (including in the name of the Inn, the only place on the campus where the Lord Jeffery name officially appears).”

While Lord Jeff was used as a campus symbol, he was never made the school’s official mascot.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara Jerde is a newswriter based in New York. Her bylines have appeared in The Star-Ledger, The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Columbus Dispatch. She graduated from Ohio University. Send emails to sara@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow her @SaraJerde.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK