OXFORD, Ohio -- The “Miami” in Miami University’s name is a mystery to too many students, say school officials.
But the rich, historical connections to the Miami Tribe of Ohio is about to get a major makeover and the just-created symbol of it may soon be appearing on a college sweatshirt or notebook near you.
Miami University officials told WCPO news partner The Journal-News on Friday that the school and tribe will sign an agreement in a private ceremony Saturday that will unveil a jointly designed logo to be used on merchandise and clothing at the school and online.
School officials also hope the new logo will draw more attention to the nationally acclaimed Myaamia Center on campus, whose Director Daryl Baldwin won a $625,000 MacArthur Genius Grant in 2016.
In a statement signed and released by the two parties, officials said “despite publicity about the research and accomplishments of the Myaamia Center, tribe and university leaders have found members of the public, including Miami University students, know little about this strong relationship.”
“This month, the tribe and university embark on a collaborative awareness platform to increase recognition of the numerous elements and benefits of our relationship. The two Miamis also hope to establish pride and understanding among faculty, staff and students and the community at large, about the rich heritage of the name ‘Miami’ and the current relationship that exists between the two entities,” according to the joint statement signed by Miami University President Gregory Crawford and Douglas Lankford, chief of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma.
The new agreement will be honored Saturday at the start of the Miami RedHawks home football game with Lankford and Crawford participating in the pre-game coin toss.
Crawford told the Journal-News “our partnership with the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, including our Myaamia Center, is a model of mutual respect, understanding and learning from each other. It’s exciting to affirm our relationship with this agreement and to know many other benefits will come from awareness of this special tribe-university bond.”
The red and black logo, which does not replace any Miami University logo or symbol but is a new, separate logo, will serve as a symbol developed co-operatively by the school and tribe.
It will be begin appearing on campus, local stores and online around the upcoming holidays, said school officials.
All royalties derived from the sale of the merchandise will be directed to scholarships and student support for Myaamia students at Miami University.