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Mississippi University for Women submits new name to legislature

Image courtesy of MUW

Second time’s the charm?

Following a firestorm of criticism over the Mississippi University for Women’s attempt to change its name to Mississippi Brightwell University last month, officials gathered on Tuesday to announce a different name it plans to move forward with – Wynbridge State University of Mississippi.

As explained during the announcement, the first part of Wynbridge comes from the Old English word for the letter “W,” maintaining the school’s oft-used nickname of “The W.” Pairing it with “bridge” is intended to connect the university’s history to its present and future as a coeducational university.

“We began the process of seeking a more inclusive name for our university over 18 months ago This past month, our very passionate alumni and friends reminded us that our identity as ‘The W’ has both an enduring legacy and flexibility to carry our institution into the future,” President Nora Miller said.

“By enshrining our commitment to ‘The W’ in the law, we promise our community that graduates past, present, and future will remain united as ‘W’ grads. The proposed legislation says that we will continue to be known as ‘The W,’ but our new formal name will be Wynbridge State University of Mississippi.”

It’s important to note that the rebranding must be approved by the legislature since MUW is a public university. Wednesday is the deadline for lawmakers to draft a bill including the name change. If passed by both chambers and signed by the governor, an official rebranding will go into effect on July 1, 2024.

MUW was initially founded in 1884 for only women, but a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1982 forced it to begin accepting male applicants. In 2017, it implemented men’s sports.

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