Coed university with ‘women’ in name considers rebranding

Oct 3, 2022, 9:55 AM | Updated: 10:28 am

FILE - A banner for Mississippi University for Women hangs at the campus in Columbus, Miss., on Oct. 27, 2008. President Nora Miller said in a letter to alumni in the fall semester of 2022 that the university, which has also been enrolling men for 40 years, should consider a new name that is more inclusive. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — Forty years after Mississippi University for Women started enrolling men, its president says the school should consider choosing a more inclusive name.

Previous attempts to remove “women” from the name, including the most recent one in 2009, have brought strong backlash from alumni of the school, nicknamed the W.

Men make up about 18% of the 2,700 students at MUW. In a letter to alumni, President Nora Miller said the university is creating a task force to examine a name change, the Commercial Dispatch reported.

Miller said she received a letter in May from the Deans Council at the university, acknowledging the current name presents “challenges.”

“I assure you, no matter what happens, we maintain our historic commitment to academic and leadership development for women, forever embracing our status as the first state-supported college for women in the United States,” Miller wrote in the letter sent Sept. 28.

The president of MUW in 2009, Claudia Limbert, proposed changing the name to Reneau University to honor Sallie Reneau, who wrote to the Mississippi governor in the mid-19th century to propose a public college for women. That renaming effort fizzled amid opposition from outspoken graduates.

The school was chartered in 1884 as Industrial Institute and College and was on the campus of an existing private school, Columbus Female Institute. The original mission of the college was to provide higher education and and vocational training for women.

In 1920, the name changed to Mississippi State College for Women, and in 1974 it became Mississippi University for Women.

Miller said the task force will soon begin sessions to hear from faculty, staff, students, alumni and other stakeholders.

Miller has been president since 2018 and has served since 2001 in various roles at MUW, including senior vice president for administration and chief financial officer.

“As our first alumni president, I too feel the urgency to do all we can to honor our history while clearing barriers to our future,” Miller said. “I acknowledge that should a new name be recommended, it will be an emotional issue for some; however, it is imperative that we sincerely consider all opportunities that will strengthen our position and allow us to better fulfill our mission.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

This combination of photos provided by the Chesapeake, Va., Police Department shows top row from le...
Associated Press

Walmart shooting claims teen, young woman, father, mother

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — A 16-year-old helping his family. A custodian and father of two. A mother with wedding plans. A happy-go-lucky guy. A longtime employee. That’s how friends and family described some of the six people killed at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, when a manager opened fire with a handgun before an employee […]
12 hours ago
Associated Press

Officers: Wellness check leads to fatal shooting in Florida

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A police officer fatally shot a man early Sunday while conducting a wellness check at a home in St. Petersburg, officials said. Just before 4 a.m. Sunday, St. Petersburg police officers responded to a report of a hit and run. Officers found the bumper of the suspect’s car at the […]
12 hours ago
FILE - Jon Batiste attends the TIME100 Gala celebrating the 100 most influential people in the worl...
Associated Press

Jon Batiste to sing for Macron at Biden’s 1st state dinner

NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — Musician Jon Batiste is on tap to perform at President Joe Biden’s first White House state dinner on Thursday, highlighting long-standing ties between the United States and France and honoring President Emmanuel Macron. “An artist who transcends generations, Jon Batiste’s music inspires and brings people together,” said Vanessa Valdivia, a spokesperson […]
12 hours ago
Fans from the United States cheer for their team during the World Cup group B soccer match between ...
Associated Press

US-England World Cup game seen by 19.98M on US television

NEW YORK (AP) — The United States’ 0-0 draw against England in the World Cup drew 19.98 million viewers for English- and Spanish-language broadcasts, the third-most watched men’s soccer game on U.S. television. The match, which kicked off at 2 p.m. EST on Friday, was seen by 15,377,000 viewers on Fox, the most for a […]
12 hours ago
FILE - Chickens walk in a fenced pasture at an organic farm in Iowa on Oct. 21, 2015. Nebraska agri...
Associated Press

Bird flu prompts slaughter of 1.8M chickens in Nebraska

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska agriculture officials say another 1.8 million chickens must be killed after bird flu was found on a farm in the latest sign that the outbreak that has already prompted the slaughter of more than 50 million birds nationwide continues to spread. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture said Saturday that the […]
12 hours ago
This image released by Disney shows a scene from the animated film "Strange World." (Disney via AP)...
Associated Press

Feast and famine for Disney at Thanksgiving box office

Thanksgiving often serves up a feast of new family movies at the box office, but the Walt Disney Co.’s animated offering ” Strange World ” fizzled with audiences out of the gates. The production, which carried a reported $180 million budget, grossed just $18.6 million in ticket sales in its first five days and $11.9 […]
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Coed university with ‘women’ in name considers rebranding