GRU changing name to Augusta University

GRU changing name to Augusta University

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Changing names. Augusta gets part of its identity back with a decision by the Georgia Board of Regents to change the name of Georgia Regents University to Augusta University.

"I'm firmly convinced and fully believe that the action you have taken today will help us establish that strong partnership that's going to make this great university even greater and make the city of Augusta even greater as well."

President Brooks Keel thanking the Georgia Board of Regents after the board voted unanimously to make the change.  The GRU name was not a popular one with many people and the source of quite a bit of contention. Here's what students had to say.

"I'm very shocked," Amma Sarfo, President of the undergraduate Student Government Association said.

"I'm kind of shocked, but at the same time I am not surprised," Kendall Berrian said.

"It was surprising because no one knew that it was coming," Rebeccah Feldhaus, Vice President of the undergraduate Student Government Association said.

The name change took quite a few students by surprise and not all seemed happy about it.

"I was kind of getting used to the Georgia Regents University name," Taylor Leverett said. 

"I think it's a lot going on," Feldhaus said. "They established GRU and they were working on getting everything up to standards with GRU, giving us the R1 title. And having another name in the mix, you kind of have to  pull all the marketing branding aside and spend a couple million dollars on branding, while you're trying to up the resources."

It was just three years ago that the name was changed from Augusta State University to Georgia Regents University. And now as of today, Augusta University.

"The name Augusta University is not something that's new," Dr. Keel said. "In fact that was a widespread support for this name two years ago. When the first name change to the consolidated University was discussed."

When officials chose Georgia Regents University as the name for the newly merged school, some residents protested, saying dropping Augusta from the title was offensive to the city and Augusta State University.

"I was actually a freshman here when the official change was made from Augusta State University to Georgia Regents University," Sarfo said. "And I was  aware of the save the A campaign. I do think that after four years of being GRU, we have come to terms and we've come to find a sense of pride in Georgia Regents University."

"One thing that I was upset about when it got changed to GRU is that, they gave us two survey's to do," Berrian said. "And I know for sure that GRU weren't in the top four of the names that we have chosen, but somehow GRU was still chosen."

Some students also see the name change as an opportunity to regain the support of the whole community.

Ethan Brown/Comptroller, Undergraduate Student Government Association
"I'm excited that we are going to be able to be a part of history that Georgia Regents University is making," said Ethan Brown, Comptroller of the undergraduate Student Government Association. "Augusta State University has a long history and so does the Medical College of Georgia. We are creating that together and now we are a part of history. And that's exciting, that's great."

The institution's name change to Augusta University is effective immediately.

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