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King of nations to king of jungle

Saint Leo University changes its nickname from Monarchs to Lions.

A few weeks back, Saint Leo College announced it would become Saint Leo University, effective this coming school year.

In the spirit of change, the school also will be changing its nickname. Beginning Aug. 24, with the unveiling of its new logo, the Saint Leo Monarchs will be known as the Saint Leo Lions. The school colors will remain green and gold.

The name Lions was used by Saint Leo preparatory school, which closed in 1964. A research firm hired by Saint Leo determined that there was a ground swell of support for a name change, and a return to the name Lions was recommended.

"In a lot of interviews with past and current students, employees and others affiliated with the university, the research firm determined that going back to Lions would touch on some of the history of the school," Saint Leo sports information director Tom O'Brien said.

Monarchs has been used by Saint Leo since 1959, the year the school opened as a junior college.

"We felt that with the conversion to university status and the change of the institution's logo that now would be a good time to make the switch to Lions," athletic director Fran Reidy said.

"Though our name is changing, our commitment to growth and development of our athletic program remains constant. The tradition of the green and gold continues, and this change will only enhance our program."