Va. school objects to proposed college name for 'New U'

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email

News 12 First at Five / Monday, Aug. 6, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Regent University in Virginia has objections about the suggested name for Augusta's "New U."

This comes as more than 1,000 local students joined a Facebook group expressing their dislike for Georgia Regents University, the suggested name of the soon-to-be-merged Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences University.

"I think it is a great idea to combine the schools." said GHSU physiologist Crystal Neal. "We just really don't like the name choices that they have come up with. I'm a little disappointed."

Neal is not alone. ASU's alumni association president has been flooded with feedback.

"But it has not been very positive feedback." said Adam Williams about the suggested Georgia Regents University. "It doesn't represent what either school is about. There are a lot of questions ... a lot of concern."

The focus now turns to the diplomas.

"Maybe it will be a collector's item before too long," said Williams about his Augusta State diploma.

Students already enrolled will actually get a choice of which name adorns their diplomas.

"Whether it is Medical college of Georgia, GHSU or ASU," said GHSU Provost Gretchen Caughman. "They will have the option to purchase that diploma."

Which name future diplomas will bear is still up in the air.

The board received a late challenge from Regent University in Virginia. The school is requesting the board select another name to avoid confusion.

"One thing we found very early on is it's a hard decision." Caughman said. "It's actually very difficult to come up with a truly perfect name."

One thing is certain. The ASU mascot, the Jaguar, is here to stay.

"That's true." said Williams with a smile. "I don't know how Georgia Regents University Jaguars really sounds, but I guess that's not my decision to make."

The Board of Regents will begin voting on the new name Tuesday in Atlanta. The board will also name the new education commons after J. Harold Harrison. He donated $10 million to the institution.

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