Committee submits 6 names for consolidated university in Augusta

Helen Hendee (left), the vice president for development and alumni relations at Augusta State University, and Susan Barcus, the chief development officer at Georgia Health Sciences University, talk about the naming process for the consolidated university.

After months of winnowing down more than a thousand recommendations, a committee has chosen six suggestions for the name of the consolidated Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities.

They are:

• Arsenal University

• Augusta Arsenal University

• Augusta University

• Bartram University

• Noble University

• University of Augusta

A consolidation working group of ASU and GHSU members looked at more than 1,200 suggestions, many of which were duplicates, said Helen Hendee, the vice president for development and alumni relations at ASU, who was a co-chairwoman of the group.

GHSU President Ricardo Azziz did not “micromanage” the process and instead gave the committee a few simple principles: the name could be no more than three words, it should not have health or medical in the name and it had to be university, Hendee said.

The committee culled those that were profane or more than three words, but “I will tell you that our group looked at every single name,” said Susan Barcus, the chief development officer for GHSU, who was also a co-chairwoman of the group.

Names were generally divided into three broad categories – geographical, aspirational and proper names that referred to a specific individual, Hendee said.

The committee consulted with experts and did extensive research on what elements should be considered in the new name, Barcus said.

Augusta University and the University of Augusta were the most popular suggestions among those submitted, Barcus said.

Arsenal University and Augusta Ar­senal University are not just nods to the former Au­gusta Arsenal facility where ASU began, Hendee said. Arsenal also symbolizes strength, she said.

“The two naming opportunities, Bartram and Noble university, are really rooted in the contributions of historical figures of significance to the area,” Barcus said.

“Noble” refers to Noble Jones, a physician and carpenter who was an original Colonist and Revolutionary War figure and a Co­lonial surveyor, Barcus said. “Bartram” refers to the prominent naturalist William Bartram, she said.

“We have 38 miles of Bar­tram Trail through Georgia, so this was in his honor,” Barcus said.

After internal and external input, a task force is expected to vote June 27 on three unranked finalists, which will be submitted to the University System of Geor­gia Board of Regents. The board could take up the issue at its meeting in August.

If approved by the South­ern Association of Colleges and Schools in December, the new consolidated university would begin operation in January.

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