Students moving in to the Mississippi University for Women on Saturday afternoon, readying for the new school year, seemed to be split along gender lines as they shared their thoughts on a name change.
Mississippi University for Women President Dr. Claudia Limbert will announce her choice for the university”s new name during a faculty/staff convocation at 8:30 a.m. Monday.
If approved by the board of the state Institutions of Higher Learning, the name must then gain the OK of the full state Legislature.
Female students interviewed seemed heavily against changing the name at all, explaining they felt it would “change the school”s tradition.”
“I would like for it to stay the same,” said Rayette Friar, a junior from Booneville. “I signed up to come to Mississippi University for Women, not Reneau or Waverley.
“When I graduate, I want my diploma to say MUW, not one of those other names,” Friar added. “Plus Waverley is the name of a plantation, and I don”t think that would be a good name for a university with so much diversity.”
Junior transfer student Carrie Ring, of Columbus, said a name change may sever some of the school”s historical ties.
“Actually, I don”t think it should change at all. It”s always been named a university for women,” Ring said, noting she knew the name change was a possibility when she decided to enroll at the school. “That name is just a part of the university”s history.”
Natalia Baldizon, a sophomore from Memphis, Tenn., said she may not have come to the school had it been named anything else.
“One of the reasons I came here was the name,” Baldizon said. “I didn”t even know about the school until I got a letter from them.
“The school is small and quaint, and I think the name Mississippi University for Women really portrays that,” Baldizon added.
While female students seemed to be against a name change, a few male students said they felt a name change would be beneficial.
“Personally, I think a name change would be the best thing for the school”s future,” said sophomore Ryan Sims, of Winfield, Ala.
Andy Currie, a senior from Fayette, Ala., agreed with Sims. Although neither male student said they favored one proposed name over the other, both said the change would benefit the school in the long run.
“A lot of people may not like the name change, but I think it”s something that needs to be done,” Currie said. “I just feel the school may not be able to have a future with its current name.”
Dispatch reporter Kristin Mamrack contributed to this story.
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