First on 12: Short list of names released for 'New U'

Friday, June 15, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Six names are now being considered for Augusta's "New U."

The list of possible names includes:

  • Augusta University
  • University of Augusta
  • Arsenal University
  • Augusta Arsenal University
  • Bartram University
  • Noble University

"I think it is exciting as long as we get past the fact that we are not going to be the New U," said Helen Hendee with ASU Alumni Relations.

The names were chosen after reviewing more than 1,200 responses to a university survey issued in April. The school wants the name to be "future-oriented, nationally and globally relevant, reflective of our values and history and attractive to prospective students and faculty."

School President Dr. Ricardo Azziz had several stipulations.

"He did want university in it. He did not want medical or health," Hendee said. "He did not want it to be over three words, so that took some names out."

The names were divided into three categories: proper name, geographical and aspirational. That might explain Noble University.

"Noble Jones was a physician and also one of the first surveyors," said Susan Barcus, chief development officer at GHSU. "He came over with Oglethorpe, so we thought that that was a wonderful point of history."

The medical college recently announced a new name, changing it from the Medical College of Georgia to Georgia Health Sciences University. The school will now spend millions of dollars on a new branding operation.

"Ongoing business operations for stationary, business cards, those kinds of things are in budgets," Barcus said. "I'm not too worried about a huge price tag for this."

Marketing research is now being conducted to determine how well the aforementioned names will resonate with a national audience.

The public is invited to select their top three choices of the six names at asughsu.org/name by June 22. That input will be considered when the list of six is shortened to three and presented to the University System of Georgia Board of Regents in advance of their August meeting, at which time they will decide the name of the consolidated university.

The new university, which consolidates ASU and GHSU and will be headed by Dr. Ricardo Azziz, will initially be a $1.3 billion enterprise, with statewide, national and global reach. It will include nine colleges, nearly 10,000 students, more than 650 acres of campus and nearly 150 buildings, more than 1,000 full-time faculty and approximately 5,600 staff, an integrated health system and a growing athletics program that includes back-to-back NCAA Division I national championships.


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