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Dickinson State seeks to protect 'Hawks' following UND's announcement

DICKINSON, N.D. - Hawks are usually solitary birds. But with arrival of the new University of North Dakota nickname, the Dickinson State University Blue Hawks are going to have some in-state company.

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Dickinson State's Blue Hawks logo
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DICKINSON, N.D. - Hawks are usually solitary birds. But with arrival of the new University of North Dakota nickname, the Dickinson State University Blue Hawks are going to have some in-state company.

The Fighting Hawks -- the UND nickname that eventually rose to the top of a lengthy list Wednesday after a prolonged vetting and voting process -- will establish the Grand Forks university as the second North Dakota University System school to take wing with a “hawk” as part of its athletics nickname. The first, of course, being DSU.

The question of how the the two schools will share the skies is yet to be answered, but DSU interim President Jim Ozbun said DSU representatives have been in contact with the North Dakota attorney general’s office to see about protecting the shortened version of his university’s nickname.

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“The Fighting Hawks is certainly different from Blue Hawks, but we often go by the shortened name of ‘Hawks,’” said Ozbun, a former NDSU president. “I’ve already expressed concern to the chancellor’s office and other places. If they’re going to go for Fighting Hawks, that’s fine. But it’d probably be better if they didn’t shorten it up.”

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While he said Fighting Hawks, as a whole, is a great nickname and could produce a good mascot, Ozbun also pointed out the clear similarities in the two school’s nicknames and said that could cause “consternation” in the long run.

Regardless, Ozbun acknowledged the two universities as being part of the same unified system and said he wanted to work closely with UND to resolve any nickname issues that come up.

Ozbun added he was pleased UND’s nickname debate had been resolved after “haunting” the university and the state’s higher education system for “way too many years.”

Having a similar nickname likely won’t be an issue when it comes to athletic competition. UND plays at the NCAA Division I level and DSU is in the NAIA, meaning the teams rarely compete.

 

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