of these colleges sounds more prestigious, based just on its name, not on
anything else you might know about it?
York University, or the University of Massachusetts Amherst?
about Indiana University, versus "the University of Illinois at
faculty and lots of students and alumni at colleges that have a geographical
marker tacked onto their traditional names don't like it one bit. Yes, the anchor campus at the University of
Illinois does sprawl across the cities of Urbana and Champaign, they
admit. But why say so? It makes a great university seem like a
minor branch campus or a commuter school.
in Kansas, there's a school called the University of Kansas-Edwards. But that's a secondary, satellite
campus. The main campus has no town
stuck onto the end of its name. It
always has been, and proudly remains, simply The University of Kansas. If you want to know what town it's in, you
can look it up.
the Boston Globe newspaper points out, Pennsylvania State University has
24 campuses, but no one slaps University Park onto the hub campus that's famous
for its legendary sports teams. Penn
State is Penn State, period, not Penn State-University Park.
newspaper notes that students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst want
to dump the Amherst and get their old name back to better show off the big
state university's academic and research reputation.
students elsewhere are rising up against cobbled names like The University of
Texas at Austin that don't trip off the tongue and don't work very well on
T-shirts or football uniforms. In fact,
a name like U.T.-Austin heaps more glory on the town than the university.
colleges are no doubt bemused by all this fuss. It goes without saying that we're not likely to see a name like
Harvard-Cambridge or Yale-New Haven any time soon.