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Carson-Newman adds “A Christian University” to Its Logo

O&B Editor

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2012

Updated: Saturday, March 24, 2012 13:03

New logo

Carson-Newman adds "A Christian University" to its name.


“This is clarifying our identity and fulfilling it,” said President Dr. O’Brien of the new subtext the College has recently added to its name. Now, Carson-Newman reads “Carson-Newman College: A Christian University.”

            This ends the debate on whether Carson-Newman would move to change the name to Carson-Newman University. For years, there have been alumni and community members both in favor and against the change.

Those for it argued that the College functioned as a university anyway, and needed the name change; those against it argued that “Carson-Newman College” was what the school had been called for most of its history and the word “college” was a part that should stay the same.

O’Brien says that since he had arrived, people had brought up this issue. He did not feel strongly on it himself, and after discussion with the Alumni Board, in 2010 and 2011 it was decided to assign a group within the Board of Trustees to specifically research this and make a recommendation. Eight months later there was still no consensus.

Around that time, the College was facing something much bigger than a name change: the “relentless recession,” as O’Brien put it. He asked if the Board would table the college/university discussion at the moment because of more pressing issues. O’Brien also felt that a name change at that moment would not be received as favorably as it would be if the financial question were not so pressing.

In February 2012 the Executive Board of Trustees took up the issue again and O’Brien recommended adding “university” to the subtext, to be “Solomon’s sword” and achieve both objectives.

This mimics Mississippi College, who also uses the college/university combination. They had faced the same problem: it could not become Mississippi University because that already existed, but they still wanted the change.

This has several advantages. One of the most important ones, said O’Brien, is the school’s international image. In other countries, the term “college” conveys an educational institution equivalent to America’s high schools. Including the term “university” in the title will convey to international students that Carson-Newman is an institution of higher learning. O’Brien hopes that this will increase the international attendance.

Including the word “Christian” is also important, said O’Brien. “By having the word Christian in the subtitle, we are intentionally Christian,” he said. “We are very proud of who we are.”

O’Brien feels that the reception to this addition will be positive. “I believe it’ll be overwhelmingly well-received,” he said.

“The President would welcome any student feedback,” he said. He invites any one to e-mail him or speak to him directly about their feelings on this matter.

The College has already begun to use the new title and made a formal announcement last week.

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