Roncalli High School replaces ‘Rebels’ nickname with ‘Royals’

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Roncalli High School officials have approved a new nickname for the formerly known “Rebels.”

“We are excited to announce that a new nickname has been chosen for Roncalli High School…let’s go, Roncalli Royals,” the school posted on social media Friday.

A task force was recently formed to decide on a new name for the school that better represented the institution.

“I know that there are many alumni and students who have been disappointed about the decision to change the Roncalli nickname,” said Rev. Robert Robeson, Roncalli High School interim president, in a statement online. “We have been the Rebels for the past 50 years, and there are so many who are proud to be part of this tradition. At the same time, the conversation about changing our nickname has been going on for at least 25 years.

Robeson said the decision to change Roncalli’s nickname from “Rebels” to “Royals” was not a response to “cancel culture,” but rather an opportunity to “conform our community to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.”

News release

“The original Roncalli High School gymnasium, built in 1962, will now be called the Bishop Chartrand Gymnasium in honor of one of the two schools that merged in 1969 to become Roncalli High School. Originally founded in 1962 to serve the growing southside Catholic population, Bishop Chartrand High School was named in honor of Bishop Joseph Chartrand, the sixth bishop of Indianapolis who served the diocese from 1918 until his death in 1933. In 1969, Bishop Chartrand High School merged with Kennedy Memorial High School (formerly Sacred Heart Central High School) to form Roncalli High School. A new chapel was built on the current Roncalli campus in 2010 and was named in honor of Sacred Heart.

“The original gym has a proud history, having served many generations of Chartrand and Roncalli students by offering a venue for school Masses, athletic events, theatrical performances, concerts, graduations, and pep rallies. The Bishop Chartrand Gymnasium will continue to serve as a distinguished and centrally located memorial to the historical contribution of Bishop Chartrand High School.”

News release issued Jan. 19, 2021, by Jeen Endris, director of communications and events, Roncalli High School