The process of adopting a new nickname for the University of North Dakota came one step closer to completion yesterday (6/9) when the committee tasked with choosing the new name narrowed the possible list down to just 15 from the over 1,000 original submissions.

1,172 nicknames were submitted during a public submission process back in April. In May, the committee cut that list down to 63. Yesterday, they narrowed the list down further, leaving just 15 names still in contention.

The 15 still in consideration are: Blaze, Force, Fighting Green, North Stars, Sundogs, Thunder Hawks, Cavalry, Explorers, Fighting Hawks, Green Hawks, NoDaks, Pride, Roughriders, and Spirit. There is also the option to continue using the current "North Dakota" moniquer that the school has adopted as a temporary identity since being forced to shed the "Fighting Sioux" name in 2012.

The next step, which will happen before the next public meeting of the committee, is for all the committee members to rate the remaining 15 names on 9 criteria. Included in those criteria include the uniqueness of the name, if it identifies with the area and school, and can it promote a sense of pride. Also included in the criteria are more technical factors like is it easy to pronounce and how easy will it be to create chants and cheers with the new name.

The date for the next meeting of the committee has not been announced.