Mississippi University for Women Considers Name Change After Years of Admitting Both Genders

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Jan 21, 2024

Mississippi University for Women

Mississippi University for Women (MUW) has recently proposed renaming itself Mississippi Brightwell University, given that the institution has been enrolling men since 1982.

The university made the announcement on January 8 after a 15-month process and several discussions with stakeholders, Erudera.com reports.

“The rebrand is intended to better mirror the University’s current vision, mission and the dynamic times we are living in, providing a more apt representation of our diverse and vibrant student body," President Nora Miller said, adding the university aims to unlock inclusivity and prosperity opportunities.

According to a press release by MUW, the name change, set to become official on July 1, 2024, aims to convey the university’s commitment to being the first-choice for students and also when it comes to funding and opportunities in outreach and research.

Miller said the new name, which legislators are expected to approve in February, was inspired by MUW’s motto: “We study for light to bless with light.”

“Our motto epitomizes the enduring essence of a supportive, inclusive and empowered community. Our distinguished faculty – beacons of enlightenment and a wellspring of knowledge – collaborate with each of our students one-on-one,” Miller said.

Moreover, she emphasized that “empowerment” and “enlightenment” were the two main themes that guided the naming process.

According to her, MUW continues to honor its history as the first state-supported university for women, highlighting it will continue to offer educational and leadership opportunities for women.

The plan to change the university’s name was also mentioned in 2022 following concerns over difficulties associated with the current name.

Back then, President Miller introduced a task force that would analyze the university’s name. The move came months after the university’s Deans Council wrote to Miller, expressing concerns about the challenges posed by the existing name.

Mississippi University for Women was established in 1884 as the first official university in the nation for women. In 1982, it started to admit men, who now account for 18 percent of the total student population.

According to data released on the university’s website, there are about 2,704 students enrolled at MUW. Of these, about 80 percent are from Mississippi.

MUW has four schools, which are:

  • the College of Arts and Sciences;
  • the College of Business and Professional Studies;
  • the College of Nursing and Health Science;
  • the School of Education.

Data also show there are 308 full-time employees at MUW, of which nearly 30 percent are male.

Image source: MS Univ for Women Twitter

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