Utica University Athletics Rebrand

The new Utica University athletics rebranded logo. Utica is in navy, while Pioneers is in orange.

Laurel Simer

The new Utica University athletics rebranded logo. Utica is in navy, while Pioneers is in orange.

Emily Joss, Sports Editor

Utica College made its official transition to Utica University last week after 75 years of being known as Utica College. Quickly, new signs lined the campus streets and old “UC”s were taken off walls in preparation to be replaced with the lone standing “U” of the future. 

For the college as a whole, this change represents, as President Laura Casamento explained during the official name changing ceremony, “decades of strategic growth… and an unwavering belief in our students and the life changing opportunities that we provide for them.” 

For athletics specifically, having the recognition of university is going to allow for a wider reach not only across the country, but across the world, potentially bringing in more athletes and enhancing the talent across all Utica’s athletic teams. 

“University gives Utica an even stronger name recognition inside and outside our community,” Athletic Director Dave Fontaine said. “University status will attract some students that normally may not have considered Utica as an option. It’s definitely an exciting time.” 

Many whispers have gone around campus about the division ranking of Utica athletics moving up to NCAA Division II or even NCAA Division I, but Fontaine neglected to say whether or not this is in the plans. 

The New York State Board of Regents definition of a university is as follows:

“A higher educational institution offering a range of registered undergraduate and graduate curricula in the liberal arts and sciences, including graduate programs registered in at least three of the following discipline areas: agriculture, biological sciences, business, education, engineering, fine arts, health professions, humanities, physical sciences and social sciences.”

That being said, the definition of a university has little to say about it’s athletics, albeit, university status does not have any direct correlation with their effect on division or other aspects of athletics. 

Sports Information Director Laurel Simer said that much of the changes the athletes are likely to see are related to branding and uniform changes, and these changes are already underway.

“We have already begun and will continue to transition things over in terms of branding in the next few months and over the summer,” Simer said. “We have updated some of our athletics logos [as seen with this article] moving forward. And, although there are not many, some teams currently have the “UC” logo on their uniforms [men’s and women’s ice hockey and women’s basketball] and that of course will need to be changed.”  

At this time, the url for Utica’s athletic website has also been changed from ucpioneers.com to uticapioneers.com. Note that it is not “uupioneers,” as Casamento strongly pushed for the stand alone “U” because, “we are Utica,” she said. 

At this time, there isn’t much to say about how Utica University will alter the life of Pioneer athletics, however, Casamento admits that this is as it should be. 

“It doesn’t change anything about the way we function because we’ve been functioning as a university for several years now,” Casamento said.

Utica University has decided to use a stand alone “U,” instead of using two Us.