What will it be?: MUW begins next steps in naming process

MUW leaders launched a survey to gauge interest in those names.

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The polls are officially closed to make your voice heard on the proposed name change for Mississippi University for Women.

After receiving backlash for a proposed new name – the university’s consulting firm generated a list of potential alternatives: Wynbridge, Welbright, and Wynbright.

MUW leaders launched a survey to gauge interest in those names.

When leaders at Mississippi University for Women unveiled the proposed new identity for the school, Mississippi Brightwell University, the response was swift and largely negative.

After analyzing the feedback, President Nora Miller said leadership at the university took a pause on the name change and went back to the drawing board.

“Originally with the consultants they told us their recommendation was to abandon the W. Not to abandon it but The W had stood for women for over 100 years and not to erase that history. Well, what we heard loud and clear from everybody is we all love to be The W,” Miller said.

From there the university’s consulting firm narrowed the list of names to three choices: Wynbridge, Welbright, and Wynbright.

“I’ve heard we had over 5000 entries. We will need to look at that. Engage it. Also by constituting groups it will be the overall but we also want to hone in on what our students say, what do our alumni say, and what our employees say and to just see if there are differences and analyze that,” said Miller.

Miller said the alumni have been the most vocal about the change.

“It’s always been said that the W’s alumni are fierce and we are fierce, which is a good thing. If we can harness this to do really good things for us to make sure that we have a strong environment to make sure we have a good appropriations bill and bond funding. We can do some great things if we all work together,” Miller said.

W leaders plan to make the announcement sometime in February.

President Miller said that a name change is necessary to reflect who the university is today and increase potential enrollment in an era when fewer high school grads are pursuing four-year degrees.

The change will require approval from the state legislature.

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