Article Comment 

NAACP disputes MUW name choices

 

 

The NAACP has come out against two of the new names the Mississippi University for Women is considering. 

 


In a letter written to MUW President Dr. Claudia Limbert, Lowndes County NAACP President Lavaonne Harris came down hard against the names Reneau University and Waverley University. 

 


The university is also considering Welty University as a possible choice. 

 


"The names Reneau and Waverley are both derived from slave holding plantations in the Old South," wrote Harris. "Neither is appropriate as a replacement name for one of our state universities in the year 2009." 

 


Sallie Reneau, who is the person the school would honor by choosing her name for the school, was key in the creation of the country''s first public university for women. In the nineteenth century, she lobbied the state legislature to get what is now MUW built; however, she was also a slave owner in pre-Civil War Mississippi. 

 


The organization also takes umbrage with Waverley Univesity. The Naming Committee says the name does not come from the famous Clay County plantation -- Waverly Plantation -- but from the novel by Sir Walter Scott. 

 


"The NAACP rejects the argument that support for the name Waverley (Waverly) stems from a work of literary fiction by Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott and that support for the name is not connected to the nearby Waverly Plantation," wrote Harris. "The name Waverley (Waverly), regardless of its spelling, conjures up thoughts of the Old South and the degredation of African Americans through the institution of slavery." 

 


MUW Professor of Political Science and Naming Committee Member Dr. James Ward agrees with the assessment of the NAACP. He said the committee has not fulfilled the duty it was charged with and went on further to say many members of the committee had their minds made up on a name before the process even began. 

 


"They simply wanted a name that suggested a small women''s college with a private feel and rejected suggestions that promoted our mission as a public university," he said. "Sallie Reneau is someone who supported the instituion of slavery. Someone like Reneau is totally disconnected from Mississippi today. The suggestion the name Waverley has no connection with the plantation 30 miles from here is ridiculous." 

 


Ward, who likes the names the University of North Mississippi and Magnolia University, pointed out he did not feel the choice of the two offending names was intentionly meant to bring the ire of the black community, but was the result of poor research. 

 


"These are issues there should have been more public discourse about," he said. 

 


Ward said of the three choices, Welty was by far the best on the list. 

 


"She is an honorable Mississippian," he said. 

 


The language of the letter sent to Limbert also suggests the NAACP is ready to fight if the selection process ends with Reneau or Waverley being selected as the final choice. 

 


"It is our hope that you will expand the names being considered beyond Reneau and Waverley and choose a name that will bring honor to the sutdents and the citizens of our state. The Lowndes County chapter of the NAACP is prepared to take aggressive and productive action toward," wrote Harris. 

 


The 30 member Naming Committee was formed last year and charged with the task of submitting three names for consideration. The original three were Reneau, Waverley and Welty-Reneau. After the names were test marketed by a marketing company the university decided to test Welty University as a stand-alone name.

 

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment KJ commented at 4/9/2009 2:01:00 PM:

How dare they challenge Limbert the Truthslayer! Of course the Waverly name has NOTHING at all to do with the nearby plantation. How could any reasonable person believe otherwise? I can't help but laugh. All of the weird little lies that the W commits to under the so-called leadership of Limbert have yet to amount to much. but they're a very poor substrate on which to build. And yet building goes on: a new alumni group beholden to Limbert, a new naming process beholden to Limbert, a foundation controlled and locked down by Limbert. The legislature, at least, has taken notice even as the IHL continues to bury its collective head under a growing pile of sand.

 

Article Comment Dan commented at 4/9/2009 2:04:00 PM:

University of North Mississippi sounds pretty good. It has a nice ring. Let's give Dr. Ward a dollar.

 

Article Comment LS commented at 4/9/2009 2:24:00 PM:

I always thought that the University of North Mississippi was a great name.

 

Article Comment Legally Blonde commented at 4/9/2009 2:49:00 PM:

Why you got to name it after somebody? If Welby, then the men wont go there because its still a college named after a woman. It would make as much sense naming it after Oparah Winfrey as it would Udora Welby. Yall need to get some sense in them people thats running that college.

 

Article Comment mosquito gloater commented at 4/9/2009 3:14:00 PM:

Dr. Ward likes Magnolia U? Mississippi is the Magnolia State, and when I think of Mississipp, I think of the movie "Mississippi Burning." That offends me.

Where does it end?

 

Article Comment mcc commented at 4/9/2009 4:05:00 PM:

University of North Mississippi is dumb because Columbus isn't IN north mississippi. it's in far eastern central Mississippi.

i think University of Columbus is fine. where has that idea gotten lost?

(and by the way, didn't thomas jefferson own slaves too? though i doubt there would be a huge ruckus about the name "thomas jefferson university".)

 

Article Comment Fred commented at 4/9/2009 4:07:00 PM:

@mcc

Your an idiot. The University of Columbus idea got lost because it is retarded.

 

Article Comment Also Blonde commented at 4/9/2009 5:40:00 PM:

Yes, let's name the University "Udora Welby". Great idea.

 

Article Comment Also Blonde commented at 4/9/2009 5:43:00 PM:

Yes, let's name the University "Udora Welby". Great idea.

 

Article Comment Avery commented at 4/9/2009 6:50:00 PM:

Butchering Eudora Welty's name and naming it Ubora-Bora Marcus Welby, M.D. University makes as much sense as the other names ... which means none of them make ANY sense at all.

And yes, you Doravilles, Columbus is in East Central Mississippi. It's so close to the Alabama line, you could name it The University of Alabama - Mississippi Campus and get tons of enrollment based on Limbert's "need" for a name she can market.

How could you screw up that kind of built-in name recognition?

Well, given Clyde Rent could increase enrollment with the MUW name and this one can't, I guess you could mess up built in name recognition.


 

Article Comment BamaBoy commented at 4/9/2009 7:30:00 PM:

I think KJ hit the nail on the head...Look at the administration 1st..Or am I the only one seeing how a new administration might help?

 

Article Comment BamaBoy commented at 4/9/2009 7:35:00 PM:

I think KJ hit the nail on the head...Look at the administration 1st..Or am I the only one seeing how a new administration might help?

 

Article Comment George Michael Rush commented at 4/9/2009 7:39:00 PM:

Mississippi University at Columbus , is fitting for a state run school, no fussing and disagreeing.

 

Article Comment Jeff commented at 4/9/2009 8:19:00 PM:

I think this is RIDICULOUS!!! For several reasons. NAACP... This organization should be disbanded. A black man is now the President of the United States, how much more advanced can ya get?? NAAWP would get shot down in less than a second for being "racist", but yet NAACP stands--ponder that for a little bit.. Second, they say Waverly and Reneau are names of people that were slave holders. Funny that most colored people's last names come from their ancestors who kept their owners names, but thats not offensive for a colored person to hold the name of a former slave owner is it? Lets face it, There are hundreds of names out there that at some point most likely had slaves, and most of those names are carried by colored people somewehre. Magnolia University... I bet if you go back, you can find a family by the name Magnolia who held slaves. NAACP needs to just let this go. Reneau is a very important person in the history of the university. Waverly, although it is the name of a book, is an important name in the history of Columbus. It is 2009, so lets be real and not get offended by stupid stuff like this.

 

Article Comment Jeff commented at 4/9/2009 8:24:00 PM:

I think this is RIDICULOUS!!! For several reasons. NAACP... This organization should be disbanded. A black man is now the President of the United States, how much more advanced can ya get?? NAAWP would get shot down in less than a second for being "racist", but yet NAACP stands--ponder that for a little bit.. Second, they say Waverly and Reneau are names of people that were slave holders. Funny that most colored people's last names come from their ancestors who kept their owners names, but thats not offensive for a colored person to hold the name of a former slave owner is it? Lets face it, There are hundreds of names out there that at some point most likely had slaves, and most of those names are carried by colored people somewehre. Magnolia University... I bet if you go back, you can find a family by the name Magnolia who held slaves. NAACP needs to just let this go. Reneau is a very important person in the history of the university. Waverly, although it is the name of a book, is an important name in the history of Columbus. It is 2009, so lets be real and not get offended by stupid stuff like this.

 

Article Comment S commented at 4/9/2009 8:39:00 PM:

Your right, Jeff, there are more things to be offended by like you using the word "colored." What decade are living in?

 

Article Comment S commented at 4/9/2009 8:41:00 PM:

That first word should read "you're."

 

Article Comment Jeff commented at 4/9/2009 9:01:00 PM:

Sorry that is offensive, so why is it called NAACP? Sorry I offend by using a term used by people of the black race to describe them self. I was trying my best to use the most "politically correct" term. I think the most correct term is "man" or "woman"-- with no reference to race.

 

Article Comment DL commented at 4/9/2009 9:14:00 PM:

The NAACP makes me sick. I mean really. Instead of helping fight the gang problem growing in Columbus, the NAACP is fighting a name of a university. Will the name Waverly University actually keep African American people from sleeping at night in Columbus. I think not!! Most African American would have never even thought about racism until the NAACP brings something up. Does the NAACP have a quota of complaints to come up with each month, because some of this is getting ridiculous!! The NAACP will never be happy. ALWAYS OUT FOR BLOOD!!

 

Article Comment Yeehaa commented at 4/10/2009 7:55:00 AM:

Who does Claudia Limbert think she is, GOD! The people have spoken and yet she wants the researchers to go back and give her the results she wants, not what the people have said. Hey NAACP, how bout Leroy Brooks University. Then no white would attend, but thats what the NAACP is all about.

 

Article Comment D.Matt commented at 4/10/2009 9:58:00 AM:

DL,
I'm glad the NAACP makes you sick! Means they're doing there job!
MUW can do what they want. It's about maybe a year from closing down w/ the economy being the way it is.

Limbert knows they have to change the name to appeal to a larger demographic & keep enrollment around 2500 - 3000 to keep the school solvent
I see no one knows the makeup of the committee.

I heard it's no alumni or men on the naming committee.
Also, why would you want to name a college after a known slavery smypathist or someone who attended one semester like 80 years & didn't like it & wrote as much?

This whole name search has been FOBAR'd from the beginning just like the concept of an all women's college in the middle of nowhere in 2009!

 

Article Comment SC commented at 4/10/2009 11:53:00 AM:

Why can't everyone just GET OVER THEMSELVES!!!! IT'S JUST A NAME for goodness sake!!!!!!!!!!! Why can't people just be thankful that you live in a FREE country where you can attend ANY college or university you choose! GET OUT OF THE PAST!!! It's the past...LET IT GO!!!!!

 

Article Comment D.Matt commented at 4/10/2009 1:04:00 PM:

DL,
I'm glad the NAACP makes you sick! Means they're doing there job!
MUW can do what they want. It's about maybe a year from closing down w/ the economy being the way it is.

Limbert knows they have to change the name to appeal to a larger demographic & keep enrollment around 2500 - 3000 to keep the school solvent
I see no one knows the makeup of the committee.

I heard it's no alumni or men on the naming committee.
Also, why would you want to name a college after a known slavery smypathist or someone who attended one semester like 80 years & didn't like it & wrote as much?

This whole name search has been FOBAR'd from the beginning just like the concept of an all women's college in the middle of nowhere in 2009!

 

Article Comment DL commented at 4/10/2009 1:44:00 PM:

D.Matt,
Answer me this. How will the name of a university affect the advancment of colored people. What is your bright idea of a name.

 

Article Comment DL commented at 4/10/2009 2:01:00 PM:

How come the almighty NAACP never stood up for the aferican american males when the name was University for Women.

 

Article Comment DL commented at 4/10/2009 2:08:00 PM:

How come the almighty NAACP never stood up for the aferican american males when the name was University for Women.

 

Article Comment K. Rob commented at 4/10/2009 3:19:00 PM:

@ D.Matt

The naming committee includes many alumni and men. Dr. Ward, the person bringing this argument foward in the university, is a faculty member AND a man AND on the naming committee.
Tada.

It's not an all women's college, it's not in the middle of nowhere. Welty attended the University for two years, and transferred to Wisconsin after that. She wanted a co-ed experience. She wrote fondly of the W. She worked for the newspaper, the Spectator.

Do some research before you make stupid opinions.

--(current student)

 

Article Comment Freshman commented at 4/10/2009 11:28:00 PM:

It seems to me a lot of folks who, pardon the expression "ain't got no dog in this fight" are keeping their nose buried in it. I am from Columbus and I am attending the W. The name change should be meaningful and NOT GENERIC. Why is the NAACP involved? I wish I knew. The old slave owners are the ones that finally realized owning men was wrong. Ulyses Grant owned slaves, do you hate $50 bills? Let's all grow up and stop fighting for nothing!!I love this town and this school. Sallie Reneau wasn't perfect...I don't know anyone who I have seen walking on water. Can we agree to honor what is honorable? All this bickering is NOT.

 

Article Comment Bill Brown commented at 4/11/2009 7:35:00 AM:

As a W alum, I'm amused by all of this.

Apparently the election of the first black President has not fulfilled the appetite of the NAACP for political consumption. The notion that the name Waverly conjures up images of slavery is laughable on its face.

But Harris better not overplay the hand, either. That's exactly what the NAACP did in the Rebel flag issue and they lost. They'd be better advised coming up with ways to reduce, oh, say black-on-black crime for starters.

 

Article Comment bubba commented at 4/11/2009 9:59:00 AM:

The NAACP is becomming irrevelent and must keep black raceism stirred up wherever it can to keep bilking the black people out of their money in order to enrich themselves.

 

Article Comment Mickey Elliott commented at 4/11/2009 11:55:00 AM:

As I no longer live in Columbus I really could care less what they name MUW.. But I do take issue with Black people taking issue at being called COLORED. I do believe that NAACP stands for the National Association for the Advancement of COLORED people. They need to either change the name of the organization or keep the lip closed tightly.This crap makes them look rather ignorant.

 

Article Comment tom commented at 4/11/2009 2:51:00 PM:

the naacp has a right to their opinion. as far as i am concerned and an msu graduate (i think the W is a wonderful instutition) that this whole name changing scenario is just one big red herring for the schools lack of enrollment numbers which one can draw their own conclusion but the school's acrimony and negative press is getting real old...just shelf the idea or name it...there are no second chances so sometimes doing nothing might help...especially if there were some changes in the current administration and this perfect storm of mis-management and nonsense would end....

 

Article Comment bruce commented at 4/11/2009 5:12:00 PM:

Magnolia University - I vote for that one!

 

Article Comment tangie commented at 4/12/2009 9:48:00 PM:

I am a grateful alumni of Mississippi University for Women. I knew when I attended what the name of the unversity was as everyone should who has agreed to go to MUW. It is a great university with a great reputation that is slowly being demolished. It is a luxury for local students(male and female). There are plenty of accomodations for both sexes. If you are smart enough to apply and be accepted then get over the name!!!! It will always be Mississippi University for Women no matter what the state government, alumni, NAACP or anyone else tries to change!!

 

Article Comment Ed commented at 4/13/2009 11:15:00 AM:

NAACP, Thank you for your 2 cents but nobody cares what you think.

 

Article Comment Cyclechick commented at 4/13/2009 5:19:00 PM:

Bravo Mickey Elliot!! I'll bet if I referred to any black person as "colored" today, they would raise holy hell. I resent the term African American. Unless someone can prove to me that they hold dual citizenship that earns them the right to be called both African and American, I shall not use that term. And if they can prove dual citizenship, they ought to at least put the American portion first if they reside in this country as their primary residence.

 

Article Comment mac commented at 4/14/2009 8:48:00 AM:

i got an idea why don't we leave it MUW

 

Article Comment notfromcolumbus commented at 4/14/2009 1:36:00 PM:

Cyclechick I totally agree how can someone be an African American who has most likely never stepped foot in Africa. As for the NAACP goes it will never go away because to many blacks are making a living off of it. Just look at Jessie Jackson or Al Sharpton. If they didnt continually stir up rediculas crap they would miss out on all the money their bogus law suits and compliants are awarded to just shut them up until they find another company or poor little college to pick on!

 

Article Comment mop commented at 4/14/2009 4:41:00 PM:

I think this whole thing is rediculous. It is the "W", always has been and always will be to me. If you are offended don't go there.

If you look hard enough you can find fault with anything. What about "Black History Month" why don't we have "White HIstory Month" or "Red History Month" & etc. T

 

Article Comment Hal commented at 4/14/2009 5:19:00 PM:

Limbert looks like Roger Ebert if he were a lesbian woman.

 

Article Comment cg commented at 4/15/2009 2:24:00 AM:

It sounds to me like most of you on hear are racist! You may hide it, but most of you are not, your statements are still linked to the way things were back in the day. Let those people who are in charge handle their duties. Using words such as colored, puts a separation between us. We all are Gods people, if you look at your self closely your full of hate and resentment. Get over it and move on.

 

Article Comment cg commented at 4/15/2009 2:26:00 AM:

That word should have been here. lol

 

Article Comment tired commented at 4/15/2009 10:47:00 AM:

The only thing racist about any of these comments is when "NAACP" is mentioned. That organization is offensive to ALL races.

Race has nothing at all to do with this. The NAACP just wants some attention so they will feel useful.

 

Article Comment Cyclechick commented at 4/15/2009 10:49:00 AM:

cg, then by your own logic, the NAACP "puts a separation between us" 24/7 as the C does indeed stand for "colored" Racism runs both ways-if you think it doesn't you are going through life with your eyes closed.Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are two HUGE racists. The black community is chocked full of racists, but is thinly veiled as "cultural pride". It is ok to celebrated "black culture" but it is not politiacally correct to celebrate "white culture" that is termed being racist. Go figure....

 

Article Comment jamie commented at 4/16/2009 9:10:00 AM:

Bravo, cyclechick, bravo!

 

Article Comment Tay commented at 4/16/2009 9:26:00 AM:

I think ALL of you could stand to listen to this song about racism.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwTZ2xpQwpA

 

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