After more than 1,200 people sent in suggestions for a new name for the consolidated university that will replace Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities, three finalists might be revealed in mid-July, officials said Wednesday.
At the first public meeting of the Consolidation Working Group that is working on the change, officials said more than 1,250 people had offered up to three suggestions through a Web site. GHSU President Ricardo Azziz called it a “massive number of suggestions.”
A group of 10 people from both institutions has been studying the names of the top 100 universities and research on the qualities of names, said Susan Barcus, Chief Development Officer for GHSU, who is co-chairing the working group.
The group will also test market potential names with an eye toward a name with statewide and national impact, Azziz said.
“This is a comprehensive American university,” he said. “This is not a local university.”
The idea is to whittle it down to a “short list” of names, hopefully by June 15, that can then be sent out for feedback, Azziz said. People will be asked to pick three names but not to rank them. The hope is to have that input and potential finalists before a committee meeting July 11, and to then submit three unranked suggestions to the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, who will ultimately choose the name, Azziz said.
The university will launch a marketing campaign with the new name, he said.
“We need to have a name that means something and we need to market and brand that name,” Azziz said.
The committee did settle one name issue Wednesday – it voted unanimously to retain ASU’s mascot, the Jaguars, as the name for the new university’s sports teams.