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UND nickname committee finishes narrowing down thousands of ideas

Sixty-three UND nickname ideas are moving on to the next round of discussion after a Monday committee meeting. The 11-person committee went through all of the 1,172 individual nickname ideas on a list of viable suggestions compiled by consulting ...

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Sixty-three UND nickname ideas are moving on to the next round of discussion after a Monday committee meeting.

The 11-person committee went through all of the 1,172 individual nickname ideas on a list of viable suggestions compiled by consulting firm PadillaCRT and moved 27 forward on Monday. Last week, the committee went through 500 and moved 36 forward.

The committee is in the process of narrowing down thousands of suggestions submitted by the public throughout April by mail and online.

The committee went through this first round of elimination by viewing each name quickly and voting yes or no; if even one committee member voted "yes," it was kept for consideration.

"Nodaks" had the most votes in support at Monday's meeting. "North Stars" came in second with six votes in support while "Spirit and "Pride" tied for third with five votes each.


At the last meeting, "The Force" had six votes in favor of keeping it while "Big Green" and "Flames" tied for second with four votes each, but the number of votes won't be taken into account as the group moves forward.

At the last meeting, the committee also voted in favor of modifying names if necessary as they move forward for clarity or grammar.

A list of the names moving forward for consideration can be found here  or at the bottom of this story. The list of names approved at the last committee meeting can be found at bit.ly/1IjRnZb.

The group was originally aiming to hold a public vote on a select few in early May at the direction of UND President Robert Kelley, but as time has progressed, committee members said they would take as much time as they need to "do it right."

UND is picking a new, permanent nickname after retiring its controversial Fighting Sioux monicker in December 2012 after the NCAA threatened sanctions. The school has played as UND/North Dakota with an interlocking UND logo ever since, and "North Dakota" was approved Monday for future consideration with two votes in support of it.

The committee's meetings are all open to the public and the next one has yet to be scheduled.

What's next

The group must now vet the remaining names using a series of attributes the nickname must have. Those are:


• Be unique, recognizable, inspiring and distinctly UND's.

• Promote a sense of pride, strength, fierceness and passion.

• Be representative of the state and region in a way that honors the traditions and heritage of the past but also looks to the future.

• Be a unifying and rallying symbol

The committee decided on eventually scoring nicknames with either -1, 0 or 1 point, but it still hasn't been decided when that system will be put to use.

Some of the names eliminated during this most recent meeting were "Pterodactyls," "Meadowlarks," "Pulverizers," "Northerners" and "Oil Frackers."

Padilla will now purchase accompanying website domains for the 63 names if they haven't already been purchased. The company had purchased 265 domain names as a preliminary precaution.

During the idea gathering process in April many names were submitted multiple times. "North Dakota" was submitted the most often at 1,005 times, "North Stars" came in second at 195 submissions and "Flickertails," a nickname used by the school prior to the 1930s, was submitted 186 times.


Other business

The task force is also having Kelly O'Keefe, a consultant with Padilla, look into the suggestion of "Nokota," after committee member and UND alumnus Lowell Schweigert asked why it was on the list of excluded name possibilities with inappropriate or legally unavailable names.

Committee member and United Tribes Technical College President Leander "Russ" McDonald said the word "Nakota"-spelled slightly differently-is a Native American tribe and UND General Counsel Julie Evans said it was excluded because of NCAA stipulation that prohibits the use of Native American imagery.


The following 63 nicknames were moved on to the next stage of consideration by the UND nickname committee over the course of two meetings. The next meeting, which is open to the public, hasn't been scheduled yet.

 The List:

  1. Aeronauts

  2. Aeros

  3. Arctic Blaze

  4. Arctic Force

  5. Aurora

  6. Aviators

  7. Badlanders

  8. Big Green

  9. Bison Slayers

  10. Blackhawks

  11. BLAZE



  14. Blizzard Dogs

  15. Bombardiers

  16. Bombers

  17. Cavalry

  18. Charging Nokota

  19. Drillers

  20. ENERGY

  21. Explorers

  22. Fighting Green

  23. Fighting Greens

  24. Fighting Green Hawks

  25. Fighting Hawks

  26. Fighting Sundogs

  27. Fire

  28. Flame

  29. Flames

  30. Flickertails

  31. Fliers

  32. Force

  33. Force of North

  34. Global Hawks

  35. Green Bombers



  38. 'Grey Hawks'

  39. Night Hawks

  40. Night Riders

  41. Nighthawks

  42. Nodak

  43. Nodaks

  44. North Dakota

  45. North Force

  46. North Stars

  47. Northern Lights

  48. Prarie Hawks

  49. Pride

  50. Riders

  51. roughhriders


  53. Snow Leopards

  54. Spirit

  55. STORM

  56. Sundog

  57. Sundogs

  58. Thunder Hawks

  59. Warhawks

  60. Warriors

  61. Warriors of the North

  62. Wings

  63. Wooly Mammoth

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