New year, new name: MUW unveils proposed name change

Brightness, enlightenment, and wellness.

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Mississippi University for Women is approaching a new era in its history.

At The W’s Spring Convocation this morning, President Nora Miller announced the proposed new name for the school: Mississippi Brightwell University.

WCBI was at convocation and has been following the story all day.

Brightness, enlightenment, and wellness.

That’s what Mississippi University for Women, President Nora Miller says the new name is looking to represent and embody.

“We decided to focus on our history and our traditions and what we’ve heard from people during our focus sessions and that really came down to we are empowering and enlightening and then we started looking at our traditions and light is a very important part of this campus,” Miller said.

The W was established as the Industrial Institute and College in 1884.

It was the first state-supported college for Women in the country.

Eventually, in 1982, the university opened its doors to men.

President Miller says there were many factors considered in selecting the name, some more difficult than others.

“We have a very passionate group of alumni and we did take to heart no directional name, no regional name. We wanted something that was truly unique and here we’ve got it. It was difficult coming up with one and I think getting beyond The W. The use of a W name was the toughest thing to get over for us The W is for women,” Miller said.

Josh Dukes is a student-athlete at MUW. He says the name of the school was a hot topic when deciding to pursue an athletic career there.

“I had a lot of conversations about how it was the school for women and I mean I also read about it in history books at my high school,” Dukes said.

Dukes said he is excited about the new name and believes it will help in recruiting more male athletes.

“I am very excited about the new name. I like the ideals behind it. The mission behind it and how passionate we are about spreading light unto the world and loving others,” Dukes said.

Student Government Association President Samuel Garrie believes the name represents the vision the W has for its future and students.

“I think it’s really great for the future of our current vision and the dynamic of our university now, so I am really looking forward to what the other students think about it, It has the support of the students – at least my support and I am really happy to see what they all think about it,” Garrie said.

The new name must be passed by the legislature before it goes into effect.

If state lawmakers approve the name, The W will officially become Mississippi Brightwell University starting July 1.

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