East Carolina University, UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University, and Wake Forest University mutually announced today that they are changing their school nicknames.
"We agree that in this climate of change, we need to be cognizant of people's feelings when touting our school's benefits," said ECU Chancellor Steven Mallard. "As we move into the future, we need to position ourselves as a proactive campus that offends no one."
ECU will be adopting the name "ECU Capitalists" in 2010.
"We originally wanted to call ourselves the ECU Entrepreneurs," Mallard said, "but we were afraid no one on campus would be able to spell it or pronounce it correctly. And everyone here is in agreement that Capitalist is kind of edgy right now."
UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor H. Holdme Thor felt a 'duty' to reflect a change in student attitudes.
"In cooperation with Apple Computer, we are adopting the nickname 'Ipods,'" said Thor. "Ipods are the pinnacle of the 'I can't hear you cos' I'm focused on me' generation. Our students can relate to that. We also had trouble funding both the Tar Heel and Ram nicknames, so we felt it better to ditch them both."
Thor admitted that the $200 million endowment from Apple helped with the decision to change the nickname.
In a similar turn of events, Duke University changed its name from the Blue Devils to the Mayos. Duke President Richard Narrowneck said the decision was easy.
"Duke conjures up all things medical and slippery," Narrowneck said. "People should easily get the Mayo clinic reference. As for mayonnaise, we felt it important to elevate the nutritional status of this delicious condiment."
"We also felt Blue Devils had a poor connotation," Narrowneck continued. "It reflected depression and evil, and we at Duke are certainly not about either of those things."
"Why should we be Demon Deacons?" asked Wake Forest President Dr. Nathan O. Egg. "There's a certain incongruity here that, I believe, confuses people."
The Demon Deacons will become the Ecclesiastical Elders.
"The university board felt Elders was a better fit since most of our students are over the age of 30," Egg said. "And nobody likes a demon. I mean, you've seen the TV show Charmed? Demons are pretty nasty."
According to sources, North Carolina State University is also looking to change its nickname. Current names floating around include the Sheep, the Herrings, and the long-tailed-thingys-that-scurry-across-the-road-at-night.