LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Hey Reb! mascot will not be returning to the UNLV.
University President Keith Whitfield made the announcement in a letter to the UNLV community on Tuesday.
Whitfield wrote in part:
"For all intents and purposes, the Hey Reb! mascot has been retired since last spring and there are no plans to bring it back. We also have no current plans to create a new mascot."
Back in June 2020 the Hey Reb! statue was removed from campus and UNLV's previous president Marta Meana said the statue was taken down after mutual conversations and speaking with the donor.
Tuesday, Whitfield's letter continued that UNLV will be joining other universities without a mascot such as Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Central Michigan.
Hey Reb! was reportedly inspired by the Western Trailblazers of the 1800s. However, some have argued the mascot doesn’t sever the Confederate connection enough.
Last year, 13 Action News also shared an online petition that was gaining traction in calling for a new mascot at UNLV.
Whitfield noted that the status of the school's nickname and mascot came about through his listening tour while speaking to faculty, staff, students, and community members.
He wrote that UNLV will continue to be known as Rebels as he "always viewed the term Rebels as a strong, nationally recognized brand synonymous with UNLV."
Whitfield will be holding the State of University address at 2 p.m. on Jan. 28.
Tuesday's entire letter to the community can be found here.