A committee overseeing the merger of Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities announced Wednesday three names for the new university that will be submitted to the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.
The final choices are:
• Georgia Arts and Sciences University
• Georgia Regents University
• University of Augusta
“We can build this next great university under any of these names,” said GHSU Provost Gretchen Caughman, who will be provost of the consolidated university.
The names emerged from more than 1,200 initial submissions, two preferred lists from a working group, and internal and national market testing.
“Actually, all three of them tested very well,” said Susan Barcus, the Chief Development Officer for GHSU and a co-chair of the branding working group.
The names will go before the University System of Georgia Board of Regents on Aug. 8. The board will select the name for the consolidated university.
The regents are not bound by the unranked submissions, however. In two renamings of consolidated Georgia schools earlier this year, the regents went with one of the suggested names in one instance and went outside the recommendations in another.
Of the three submissions, only University of Augusta has made it through all of the previous rounds of suggestions.
Georgia Arts and Sciences came from an online student petition protesting previous name suggestions that garnered more than 1,600 signatures.
“That was in response to the students’ overwhelming feeling about arts and sciences and Georgia,” said Helen Hendee, the vice president for development and alumni relations at ASU.
Georgia Regents University would offer the board the chance to name a university after itself, but Augusta officials said that was not a concern.
“I think if it happens, it will not be perceived that way,” Hendee said.
The Regents name “does a couple of things,” Barcus said. “No. 1, it clearly identifies us as a member of the Georgia state university system. The other thing is it comes from the word that means ‘ruling’ and we do want to be a leading university. We thought that was really strong.”
Whatever the name, the consolidated university has a serious ambition to be “in league with Georgia Tech, Georgia State, University of Georgia, as well as nationwide,” Caughman said. “We intend to be a destination university. We will be well-positioned with any of these names.”