'Augusta Commonwealth'?

Twelve-hundred suggestions for a new name for the merged universities. Incredible. Well here’s No. 1201: Augusta Commonwealth University.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a commonwealth is “the people of a nation or state; the body politic; a nation or state governed by the people; a republic.” It also may be used to reference a state officially for Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Massachusetts, Even the archaic meaning – “the public good; commonweal” – meets the ideal for what our city wants New U to be. The term literally meant “common well-being.”

Augusta Commonwealth University. That’s the big-picture ideal, isn’t it? I can see the logo and T-shirts already printed up. Or just take “State” off the old ones.

So there you have it. Makes sense to me, but I think a little different.

If it works for you fellow Augustans, Georgia Health Sciences University President Azziz, and Augusta Commissioner Jerry Brigham, send a note over to the Board of Regents. And while I personally loved the “James Brown Downtown School of Knowledge” as a name, I think this one makes everyone happy; encompasses what (in theory) the merged schools should represent; and helps to begin the process.

I know Augusta and the folks who live here. They love their city and take a certain pride in its identity. “Augusta” should be a part of the university name, as it will make our residents proud and feel a part of its development as a world-class university. It also will go a long way in creating support for all the other projects on the horizon. Trust me.

ACU. Now if everyone’s in agreement, we can move forward.

My neighborhood of Sand Hills has big plans for the new university, whatever its name may be. My only request is that, in the future, when we’re talking about creating jobs in our neighborhood, or helping to develop our youth program, please work with us to make it happen. We need economic development (and this time done correctly) in our community. We must accomplish the goals set forth.

Please look for our neighborhood to be featured in an annual October event, This Place Matters, in partnership with Historic Augusta and the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, or check out our butterfly and vegetable gardens coming soon to the Sand Hills Community Center.

As we start to focus on Sand Hills in coming months, please let us all work together for the common good – or “commonwealth,” as it were. Always thinking.

(The writer is president of the Sand Hills Neighborhood Association.)

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