Group seeks to keep Augusta in new university's name

A group of local businessmen met Wednesday to form a committee to keep the name "Augusta" in the new university being formed by the Georgia Board of Regents.

A group of local businessmen met Wednesday to form a committee to keep the name “Augusta” in the new university being formed by the Georgia Board of Regents.

Named “Save the A,” the group intends to launch a statewide campaign to persuade the regents, along with University system Chancellor Hank Huckaby and Gov. Nathan Deal, to reconsider the decision to name the new school Georgia Regents University, said John Hall, the group’s spokesman.

Hall said the group isn’t opposed to the merging of Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities, just the name it has been saddled with.

“We totally support what the governor and the Board of Regents are doing for Augusta,” said Hall, president of Hall Marketing. “We are for all the growth, all the expanded educational opportunities. All that is a major plus and we are looking forward to that.”

Hall said the group thinks it is a mistake to discard Augusta from the name, since it is a brand already known the world over.

“If you went to Europe and asked someone where Auburn is or where Clemson is located you probably would not get a correct response,” he said. “But if you asked them where Augusta was, most would be able to tell you it was in Georgia. It is a good brand with global recognition.”

Hall said the “Save the A” committee doesn’t have any specific plans yet, but will be reaching out to politicians and holding rallies to bring attention to the issue in coming weeks.

Hall wasn’t prepared to reveal the names of the members Wednesday, he said.

“We are just in our embryonic stage now; we are just starting out,” he said.

CONTACT THE GROUP

Comments and letters of support can be sent by mail to “Save the A,” P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928; or by e-mail to savethea@ymail.com.

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