Thursday, August 11, 2005

The name game

Interesting article on colleges changing their names and the practical results that followed (increased applications, higher SAT's for incoming classes, etc.). The article mentions that 'two New Jersey colleges changed their name in the 1990's', Glassboro State (Rowan) and Trenton State College (The College of New Jersey). What the author fails to mention is that in 1998 Jersey City State College also changed its name (New Jersey City University). There may be others, I don't know.

Interestingly, I think the article misses several points -- namely why the NJ colleges changed their names in the first place. The article says that it was because the schools were "hoping to project new and more ambitious identities." Sure they were. How about the schools wanted to have nothing to do with the towns where they were located? Trenton and Jersey City, at least at the time, had pretty awful reputations. Certainly, it's a school's prerogative to alter their scent to something sweeter, but let's not kid ourselves about "ambitious identities," OK?

One final thought. As a Jersey resident, I know how people refer to their schools. If you ask anyone around Jersey City, they still call it "Jersey City State." And in central Jersey, they now refer to the school as "TCNJ."

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 4:12 PM

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