The University of Mississippi proposes to drop the word ‘women’ from its name after decades of enrolling men as well

Columbus, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi University for Women announced a proposal Monday to rebrand as Mississippi Brightwell University, with officials saying the new name reflects the diversity of the public institution that has been enrolling men since 1982. Is.

About 22% of the 2,230 students at MUW are male – a school nicknamed "The W". President Nora Miller Announced in 2022 A university created a task force to investigate a name change, months after the university's Deans Council sent it a letter saying the current name presents "challenges."

Miller said in a news release Monday that the new name is inspired by the university's motto, "We study for the light to bless with light."

If lawmakers approve the change, it will take effect July 1.

University leaders have met with students, faculty, alumni and others to gather ideas about the name change.

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“The collective wisdom and diverse perspectives have been invaluable, enriching the rebranding process and ensuring that the revised brand resonates with every segment of our university family,” Miller said.

Previous attempts to remove "Women" from the name, including the most recent attempt in 2009, have drawn strong reaction from alumni.

In 2009 MUW President Claudia Limbert proposed changing the name to Reneau University to honor Sally Reneau, who wrote to the governor of Mississippi in the mid-19th century to propose a public college for women. That effort to change the name failed amid opposition from vocal graduates.

The school was chartered as the Industrial Institute and College in 1884 and was on the campus of an existing private school, the 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.

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