It’s time to get used to CMU
The roughly 1,200 diplomas that will be awarded to Mesa State College graduates Sunday will likely be the last to carry the Mesa State appellation. Those who receive diplomas in coming years expect to receive them from Colorado Mesa University.
It will, of course, be the same school — the fastest-growing public college or university in Colorado. And its new name will reflect the expanding academic offerings at CMU.
Just last Friday, the Colorado Commission on Higher Education approved a new degree for the local school, a bachelor of science in exercise science.
Also on Friday, the Colorado House of Representatives gave final approval to the bill that will officially change the name of Mesa State to Colorado Mesa University.
The bill is now awaiting Gov. John Hickenlooper’s approval, and we hope he wields his signing pen quickly so the school can begin making the necessary changes before the new school year begins.
As letters to the editor to this newspaper and chatter around the community have made clear, Colorado Mesa University wasn’t the favorite of many who supported a name change for Mesa State.
But it was politically achievable, as the bill’s fast trip through the Legislature demonstrated. It also accomplishes the two things that college officials and many members of the community hoped:
First, it includes “university” in the name of the school that now offers a variety of master’s degrees and one doctoral program, as well as a much broader curricula of undergraduate offerings.
Additionally, the new name makes it clear that the institution is in Colorado, not Arizona, California or some other state in the Southwest. While it would have been nice to have a name that recognizes the school’s location in western Colorado, that wasn’t politically feasible, given the opposition from Western State College in Gunnison.
Colorado Mesa University has the advantage of being relatively short and easy to remember, connecting to the school’s earlier names. Even the new acronym, which many local wags pronounce with a bovine sound, connects to the school’s maverick mascot.
A few years from now, we expect the dispute over the name change will be largely forgotten and most of the community will be comfortable with Colorado Mesa University.