Tuesday, August 7, 2012
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Augusta Georgia has had up until recently two state universities, Augusta State University, which up until ten years or so ago, was Augusta College and where I earned by undergraduate degree in 1976, and the Medical College of Georgia which was renamed only two years ago, Georgia Health and Sciences University (GHSU).
Well a few months back it was decided that Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University be merged into one university with a new name.
Many names were suggested and it boiled down to the following top three, none of which I really liked:
1. Georgia Arts and Sciences University
2. University of Augusta
3. Georgia Regents University
But a couple of days ago, the State of Virginia asks that the new name not be Georgia Regents University.
Officials from Regent University in Virginia wrote to the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents on Saturday requesting a different name from Georgia Regents University, which was recommended by a committee.
“We are concerned that there could be some confusion and dilute our brand,” Regent University President Carlos Campo said Monday.
Regent University enrolls 60 percent of its students online, many from Georgia.
The proposed name makes the Augusta institution sound as though it’s a branch of the 6,000-student Virginia school, Campo said.
He said Monday morning that he is trying to reach his Georgia counterparts by phone to discuss the matter in a friendly way so that the e-mail from his attorney isn’t the only communication.
Regent University, founded in 1978 by the Rev. Pat Robertson as CBN University, changed its name in 1990 and holds a trademark to the name. Campo said that he doesn’t want a court fight but that his attorney felt confident the school using the name longer would prevail.
When the Virginia school changed its name, it sought permission from the 600-student Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, which raised no objection because the schools were in different countries.
Georgia officials might also want to avoid confusion because a state school has a different mission from a faith-based university. The Canadian school is also faith-based.
Campo cited the reaction from readers of The Augusta Chronicle who want the name of their city in the school’s new name. He suggested that was another reason for selecting one of the other proposed names forwarded to the board – Georgia Arts & Sciences University or the University of Augusta.
Well guess what? The Georgia Board of Regents today gave a new name to the once two separate schools and it will be, drum roll, please:
GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY!
What's in a name?
And now I ask this in all earnest, once the name change is completed, can I say that I am a graduate of Georgia Regents University or do I have to say Augusta College which was defunct as a name 10 years ago? Just wondering.