GHSU/ASU parents, students call 'New U' short list names 'scary,' 'out in left field'

New U naming

University officials are reaching out to the community to choose a name for the newly-consolidated schools. (WRDW-TV / June 15, 2012)

News 12 at 6 o'clock, 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'm not quite sure what to think about them," said GHSU student Adrienne Popplewell. "That's not really what I expected. It feels like Georgia Health or MCG, as I still call it, is being pushed out of the picture."

The names were divided into three categories: proper name, geographical and aspirational.

"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."

"That's interesting," Popplewell said. "But I have never really heard of him before. It's kind of out in left field."

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

"I don't really like any of them," said GHSU student Amanda Cornelison.

"Naming something that has been two parts that is going into one whole is never easy," Barcus said. "We knew that we would not be able to please everyone, but we are really excited with what we've come up with."

Mark Maund, a proud ASU parent, is a little more understanding.

"I think anything with Augusta in it is a good thing," Maund said.

But even this former ASU alum is having trouble with Arsenal University.

"That's kind of scary," he said. "It sounds like maybe we are a military college."

Keep in mind that Augusta State, a former arsenal site, now sits on Arsenal Avenue. Maund worries that interesting historical tidbit would be lost on people across the country.

"I don't think people in the next county would [get that]," said Maund with a smile.

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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