The University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents voted earlier today to allow Armstrong Atlantic State University to shorten its name to Armstrong State University.
"In their request for the change, Armstrong officials noted that dropping the word 'Atlantic' from the university’s name will help minimize confusion and create a stronger brand for Armstrong," a spokesperson says.
“We need a name that reflects who we are today,” said William Kelso, the university’s vice president of advancement and an Armstrong alumnus. “Many people mispronounce our name, calling us ‘Atlantic Armstrong’ or ‘Armstrong Atlanta State University.’ This confusion limits our ability to brand Armstrong as a successful part of the University System of Georgia, with thriving campuses in Savannah and Hinesville.”
The name change will be effective in the new fiscal year, which begins July 1.
“We are grateful to the Board of Regents for approving our name modification,” said Armstrong president Dr. Linda M. Bleicken. “Having a more streamlined name will help us with our recruitment and retention initiatives.”
"The Board of Regents added Atlantic to the university’s name in 1996 in an effort to give Armstrong a geographic identifier," the spokesperson says.
Armstrong was originally founded in 1935 in downtown Savannah and has been located on the Southside since 1966.
The university will convene a task force to develop a strategy to implement the name change this summer. Most of the university’s signage, athletic uniforms and collateral materials already have the name “Armstrong,” rather than “Armstrong Atlantic.”
After receiving a positive response from a survey of Armstrong faculty, staff, students, alumni and community leaders in the fall of 2013, the university decided move forward with a name change from Armstrong Atlantic State University to Armstrong State University. The survey indicated that the majority supports the name modification.