Colorado Mesa U.

With more than 60 potential new names suggested for Mesa State College, there’s a good chance that Colorado Mesa University — the name selected by the college Board of Trustees Tuesday — wasn’t the top choice for many readers.

It would probably not be our top pick, either, although we had never settled on one particular name as the best choice.

But that’s all behind us now. We hope members of the community will join us in embracing the new name.

Colorado Mesa University accomplishes several things that Mesa State officials have said from the outset were important in selecting a new title for the college.

First, including the word “university” in the name recognizes that Mesa State is more than just a four-year school with a limited academic focus. It has a growing array of graduate programs, including a new doctoral program, and academic offerings. Being a university puts it on a par with numerous other higher-education institutions in this country of similar size and diverse programs.

Secondly, by including “Colorado” in the name, the school will eliminate the confusion created by the old name, that Mesa State was somewhere in Arizona, California or some other state. But leaving the word “Mesa” in the name provides a tie to the school’s history.

We understand the reluctance of the Board of Trustees to include “Western Colorado,” “Western Slope,” or some form of those words in the new name. Officials with Western State College in Gunnison have already announced their opposition to any name for Mesa State that included the word “Western” or “West.”

In all likelihood, choosing a name such as Western Colorado University would have sparked a fight in the state Legislature that could very well derail the name change.

We see no reason why that should occur with Colorado Mesa University. We hope the Legislature quickly approves the new name and that the students and staff of Mesa State, as well as its many supporters and community backers, will eagerly adopt it.


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