Fear The Flannel? GVSU Was Almost Nicknamed ‘The Sawyers’
Back in 1969, GVSU briefly considered a mascot change from Lakers to Sawyers, to honor the Lumbering history of our region.
And for one day in February, they will officially change their name to Sawyers to honor that moment.
The GVSU Men's and Women's basketball teams will wear fauxback uniforms to a honor a day that never happened, a day when the University briefly considered becoming the Sawyers.
The nickname was tossed about back in 1969 before calmer heads prevailed, notably the school's accountants, who figured it would cost too much to buy new uniforms.
According to the school's web site:
In 1965, Grand Valley leaders asked the public to help choose a mascot; students would vote from six final names — Bruisers, Warriors, Bluejays, Ottawas, Archers and Voyagers. A late write-in vote, Lakers, was submitted by student Annie Kate McDonald. The Lakers won by 11 votes.
In 1969, there was a push by students to change the mascot and proposed names included Sawyers. By that year, Grand Valley's eight athletic teams had uniforms printed with "Lakers" and support for the name change died down.
That weird glitch in Laker history will be honored for one day on February 23, 2019. Just the school's hoops team will become the Sawyers on that afternoon for games against Michigan Tech the women at 1pm and the men at 3pm.
A Sawyer, by the way, is a Lumberjack, particularly one who wields a good saw.
School President Thomas Haas said on the GVSU web site, that the name offers a teaching moment for the regions roots.
"Logging was a big industry in Michigan in the early 19th century," Haas said. "People may not know that West Michigan had nearly 50 sawmills in the late 1800s, so there were plenty of Sawyers around."