UNITED STATES NEWS

A Mississippi university tries again to drop ‘Women’ from its name

Feb 13, 2024, 3:55 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Leaders of Mississippi University for Women made a new proposal Tuesday to shed the school’s gender-specific name in a way they hope will be accepted by alumni who fondly call their alma mater “The W.”

The public institution would become Wynbridge State University of Mississippi and would still market itself as “The W,” if legislators approve the plan. The name change would happen July 1.

It’s the second time this year that MUW leaders have rolled out an idea for renaming the university in Columbus. MUW has also enrolled men since 1982, and about about 22% of the current 2,230 students are male.

But university leaders say having “women” in the name complicates the recruiting process.

A backlash by alumni caused the university to backtrack from a proposed new name that was unveiled in January, Mississippi Brightwell University.

“We are grateful to our alumni and friends of the university for reminding us that our identity as ‘The W’ has both an enduring legacy and the flexibility to carry our institution into the future,” the university’s president, Nora Miller, said in a news release Tuesday. “By enshrining our commitment to ‘The W’ in the law, we promise our community that graduates past, present and future will remain united.”

In 2022, Miller announced a university a task force to examine a name change, months after the university’s Deans Council sent her a letter saying the current name presents “challenges.”

Amanda Clay Powers, the university’s dean of library services and co-chair of the naming task force, said Tuesday that Wynbridge “creatively pairs the Old English word for ‘W,’ using it as a ‘bridge’ that connects past, present and future W graduates.”

“With our commitment to keeping ‘The W,’ we feel this is the perfect name for the university that looks back at our illustrious past as the first publicly supported university for women, keeping our tradition of looking forward into the future,” Powers said in the university’s news release.

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

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 vocational training for women.

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

United States News

Associated Press

Autoworkers union celebrates breakthrough win in Tennessee and takes aim at more plants in the South

DALLAS (AP) — The United Auto Workers’ overwhelming election victory at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee is giving the union hope that it can make broader inroads in the South, the least unionized part of the country. The UAW won a stunning 73% of the vote at VW after losing elections in 2014 and 2019. […]

46 minutes ago

Associated Press

Conditions improve for students shot in Maryland park on ‘senior skip day’

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — Three of the five youths shot in a suburban Washington, D.C., park during a high school “senior skip day” gathering have been released from the hospital, while the condition of the most seriously injured has improved, authorities said Saturday. Police in Greenbelt, Maryland, are asking the public to share video footage […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

New York lawmakers pass $237 billion budget addressing housing construction and migrants

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers passed a $237 billion state budget Saturday that includes plans to spur housing construction and combat unlicensed marijuana stores. The package also includes a raft of other measures ranging from expediting the closure of some state prisons, addressing the recent influx of migrants, and continuing the pandemic-era policy […]

2 hours ago

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO - DECEMBER 9, 2019: A copy of the record album, 'Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison'...

Associated Press

Record Store Day celebrates indie retail music sellers as they ride vinyl’s popularity wave

Record Store Day, a holiday invented at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees in 2007, will be observed Saturday.

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Former Arkansas governor, US Sen David Pryor dies at 89

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Former Arkansas governor and U.S. Sen. David Pryor, a Democrat who was one of the state’s most beloved political figures and remained active in public service in the state long after he left office, has died. He was 89. Pryor, who went undercover to investigate nursing homes while a congressman, […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

A rabbi serving 30 years to life in his wife’s contract killing has died, prison officials say

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey rabbi serving a decadeslong sentence in a 1994 murder-for-hire plot targeting his wife has died. Fred Neulander, 82, was pronounced dead shortly after 6 p.m. Wednesday at a hospital in Trenton after he was found unresponsive in his cell in the New Jersey State Prison infirmary, news outlets […]

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

A Mississippi university tries again to drop ‘Women’ from its name