Monday, July 05, 2004
So I read with interest that a small, formerly all-female state school in Virginia has changed its name from Mary Washington College to The University of Mary Washington. The level of banality is jawdropping:
But the name triggered yet another debate -- this time about syntax. Some faculty insisted that the construction "University of . . ." should precede only a geographic location, not a person. State Sen. R. Edward Houck (D-Spotsylvania) argued against the name change on syntactical grounds before the Virginia legislature. (It ultimately passed.)If anyone, anyone, is now thinking of applying to Mary Washington because it's a university now and not a college, I'll sing the Wellstone song on the air next weekend. Puh-leeze. And the
"I think the name is awkward," Houck said last week. "And it certainly diminishes Mary. . . . I haven't found anyone other than those who were paid to say it who felt that this was the most appropriate name."
Wilder, though, said he did not believe there is anything "technically incorrect" about the name. "It is unusual," he said. "One of the reasons I preferred it is because it was unusual."
In fact, Wilder said Mary Washington could see a rise in the number of applications this year because of the attention drawn by the name change and the luster of its new status as a university.
Mary Washington College officially became the University of Mary Washington today. To celebrate the new name, the institution held a flag-raising ceremony, complete with punch and cake for campus employees.Nothing celebrates quite like punch and cake, eh? No word on ice cream.
�This is a grand day, not only for our institution, but for the entire greater Fredericksburg region and the Commonwealth of Virginia ,� said President William M. Anderson, Jr. �I'd like to thank everybody for working so hard to make this day possible. We enter this era with great confidence, knowing that our past has brought us to this point, where we can become not just another university but a great university.�