Augusta State University is looking to lighten its load of official school merchandise in anticipation of a new name and logo in coming months.
When Augusta State’s merger with Georgia Health Sciences University is complete and the two schools are combined under one name, all the coffee mugs, mouse pads, T-shirts, ball caps and other items at the bookstore will be obsolete.
That’s one reason the bookstore is having a 25 percent-off sale for everything that carries the ASU brand, said Karl Munschy, the director of business services at Augusta State.
That merger and new name are expected to be official by year’s end, so that gives the school about seven months to sell the old inventory and make way for new stuff with a new name, whatever that will be, Munschy said.
Luckily, news of a merger and new name came earlier this year, before the bookstore ordered inventory for the fall, he said.
“We heard about it prior to ordering, so that was good,” Munschy said. “At least we know we are still going to be called Jaguars.”
That gives some items, such as T-shirts with only the “Jaguars” imprint, a longer shelf life than items stamped with a blue “ASU,” he said.
Munschy said they will do their best to deplete the inventory at close to normal prices through the the summer and fall semesters, but at some point they might have to resort to “fire sale” prices to clear the racks for new stuff.
GHSU’s bookstore is also waiting for a new name to begin ordering more merchandise, said Dale Hartenburg, the director of student and auxilary services. They’ve already been through one name change recently – Medical College of Georgia adopted the GHSU name last year – so the transition is familiar, Hartenburg said.
“We were actually beginning the process of getting new inventory for the new name when the merger was disclosed, so we stopped,” he said.
Hartenburg said the GHSU bookstore is operating with the “bare minimum” of branded merchandise while the new school name is under consideration.
At Augusta State, many students were taking advantage of the sale as classes began this week, but most of the items sold were pens, notebooks and other class supplies that carried the school name, said Kristiana Fernandez, a junior and clerk at the bookstore.
“It’s mostly alumni who are coming in to buy mugs and stuff,” she said.
The store has a lot of merchandise with official logos to sell. Everything from key chains, license plates and sweatshirts to mouse pads, flags, towels and bumper stickers fill the store shelves.
“If you take the time to look around you’ll be surprised at the number of things that do have ASU on them,” Fernandez said.
Lora Smith was doing a little shopping on Tuesday, but her purchases were primarily for class, she said. Smith is in her junior year working on a degree in criminal justice.
She will end up buying a coffee mug or two before long, she said.
Because her brother also went to Augusta State, her mother urged her to buy something before the name change takes place.
As for herself, she’s not too concerned about buying any Augusta State memorabilia, or about what state officials decide to name the new school. She’s focused on getting into law school.
“As long as I graduate, I don’t really care,” she said.