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‘The W’ Will Remain Mississippi University for Women as Renaming Efforts Fail a Second Time

Mississippi University for Women will remain just that after efforts to change the name to a more inclusive one have failed two times. With a bill still pending approval in the House Universities and Colleges Committee, Mississippi University for Women President Nora Miller sent a letter to alumni stating that the university was placing a “strategic pause” on the name-change process.

“While we remain committed to a future name change,” Miller stated in the letter, “we will regroup and re-examine our processes, ways of engaging our alumni base, and the many needs surrounding finding a name that captures the unique history as well as the contemporary qualities of our university.”

On Feb. 14, MUW alumnus and Mississippi House Rep. Donnie Scoggin, R-Ellisville, sent a bill to the House Universities and Colleges Committee. House Bill 1155 supports amending the name to “The W” with official documents listing it as Wynbridge State University of Mississippi. Miller told the Mississippi Free Press that although lawmakers agreed to introduce the bill to make the change official, they did not seem to have the support for legislation to be successful.

“I believe we would have had the votes in the committee, but we wouldn’t have had the votes on the floor,” Miller said on Feb. 22.

A Fraught Process

The process of changing the name of MUW has been fraught with difficulties and dissension. After an 18-month process, Miller first announced Mississippi Brightwell University as the school’s new proposed name during spring convocation on Jan 8. Backlash quickly ensued as alumni and some state lawmakers protested the name. Twitter threads even referred the task force to the Urban Dictionary in a show of the name’s inappropriateness.

In response, Miller placed the first pause on the change. The Naming Task Force went back to the drawing board eliminating Brightwell and soliciting new name options from the public. Within a week, the task force had whittled the names down to three and sent a survey to alumni with explanations of each choice’s meaning. Recipients were asked for feedback on how those names fit the idea of the

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