Correction: A previous version of this story stated the mountain valley, Pingree Park, was being renamed. Colorado State University’s mountain campus, Pingree Park, is being renamed, not the geographic area.
Pingree Park will now be recognized as the Colorado State University Mountain Campus because of the controversial connection between the area and George Pingree’s involvement in the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864.
The mountain campus has been renamed to benefit the reputation of CSU and the area, according to Rob Novak, director of communications for the CSU Warner College of Natural Resources. The geographic area, Pingree Park, where the campus is located, will keep its current name.
“We felt it was important to link that unit back to the larger campus so that people outside of our college would understand that it is a part of Colorado State University,” Novak said.
According to Director of the CSU Mountain Campus Pat Rastall, there have been several times in the past when a name change was considered.
“I feel the time is right for Colorado State University to put some distance between the unfortunate legacy of George Pingree and our Mountain Campus to ensure that everyone feels welcomed,” Rastall said. “I think our programs will remain as strong as ever, as the name change does not impact the great field education and research that is done in the valley.”
Some are not in support of branding the park under the Colorado State University name. According to CSU Department of History Assistant to Chair Nancy Rehe, naming the park after a different historical being should have been considered in an effort to hold on to historical ties in the community.
“To me, it would just be nice to maintain some sort of personal name to the campus, rather than giving it a general name,” Rehe said.
CSU senior Jennifer Hernandez is also unsure of her stance behind the name change of the well-known Pingree Park.
“I understand the controversy behind it, but I also like tradition as well,” Hernandez said. “When someone comes from the outside and knows the name Pingree Park, it is branded. I also think that is CSU’s way of building up their own brand, which is important as well.”