Twice each spring I come to Augusta to officiate a collegiate disc golf event for what is now Georgia Regents University. I was there recently. When a spectator or fan followed the line-up of the participating schools, names that had proud traditions stood out – Clemson, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia Tech, Houston, Purdue, Illinois and others. It was immediately clear what the school was.
Then there is the new and, I supposed, improved GRU with its new drab colors. When the schools were announced on the first tee, the host school’s name had a sad ring to it. No one knew what a GRU was.
One could make many arguments and have considerable discussion as to the importance of a school’s name, but let’s be realistic. You are attracting 17- and 18-year-old kids to come to your school. The name matters. You had a unique emblem with the “A.” Now all your heritage is swept under the rug.
Do you think a doctor or other medical professional is excited about a diploma that no longer has the history of an institution such as the Medical College of Georgia? That tells me this is a medical school.
I have no dog in this hunt, as I attended the University of Missouri and one immediately can relate to that name. Augustans have an uphill climb on recognition that I doubt will be established in my lifetime. Sadly, the new name sounds more like some online institution than real brick-and-mortar. Good luck as well with alumni support.