When the Eastern Michigan University football team takes the field for its home opener this weekend, members of the school marching band will be sporting uniforms emblazoned with two of EMU’s former logos, including one the school dropped 21 years ago amid criticism it was demeaning to Native Americans.
The Ypsilanti school will still be the Eagles — the nickname and mascot it adopted in 1991 when ditched the Hurons nickname. But EMU added its Hurons and Normalites logos to the uniforms band members will be wearing for Saturday’s game against Illinois State, in the hopes that doing so will foster greater unity among its current and former students, including some who never got over the 1991 change.
“We still have Normalites who went to Michigan State Normal and are alive and wear their Normalite logo with pride,” school President Susan Martin said, referring to period from the school’s 1849 founding as Michigan State Normal College until 1929, when two students won a school contest by proposing “Hurons” as the new mascot. “We have many, many Hurons who are still Hurons in their heart to this day. And, of course, we have been the Eagles for 20 years.