You have to appreciate the initiative students have shown in trying to help find a name for the area’s newly consolidated university.
Unhappy with the six original names a committee chose, hundreds of students signed a petition and suggested three more names. Local officials whittling down the list of recommendations for the state Board of Regents took the students’ suggestions seriously, as they should have.
The only drawback is that the most popular of the students’ suggestions – Georgia Arts and Medicine University – would have the school be known as Georgia A&M.
Not only does that name harken back to the bygone days of “Agricultural and Mechanical” colleges, but The Chronicle’s editorial department has found at least 10 instances around the country in which A&M colleges have switched their names to drop the A&M.
Most of them did so decades ago.
Thankfully, the name didn’t catch on with the Consolidation Working Group.
“We felt like even though it might be great to marry the Arts and Medicine, having the A&M applied will just lead to confusion and needing to explain it all of the time,” says Provost Gretchen Caughman of Georgia Health Sciences University – formerly the Medical College of Georgia, which will be consolidated this fall with Augusta State University.
The bottom line is that, like The Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy, we may be searching high and low for answers that are right in our own back yard.
Out of the hundreds of ideas that have come forth, none is even close to the simple elegance and significance of “The University of Augusta.”
That’s not being provincial, either: The name “Augusta” has a brand and a reach that is already global, thanks to the Masters Tournament.
Sometimes you can search far and wide and realize that what you’ve been looking for has been right under your nose all the time.