August 8, 2009 10:08:00 PM
I graduated from Mississippi University for Women in 2007, and remain a proud alumna of my university. However, it is with a heavy heart and an unrelieved sense of dread that I continue to follow the news from The W these days.
I have yet to hear a persuasive, well-researched, thoughtful argument from Dr. Limbert to convince anyone that the name--and the name alone--is the crux of all of the university''s current enrollment and marketing issues. The university may be co-ed (as it has been for almost three decades now), yet the name "Mississippi University for Women" speaks to not only the history of the school, but the women''s mission that supposedly still drives it.
I have my own proposal for change: Get rid of Claudia Limbert.
I don''t think getting rid of Limbert will immediately solve every problem with the university (I''m not that naïve). But it is the first step in the right direction. Getting a new president in there, someone dedicated to promoting the W instead of pandering to those who believe men are just too dadgum insecure to attend MUW with the current name, will do a hell of a lot of good in restoring the faith of those alums who''ve been burned by Limbert and her cronies. Despite Limbert''s seeming belief to the contrary, the loyalty of a university''s alumni is ABSOLUTELY necessary to ensure the continued well-being of a school.
Tick off the alumni, and you''ve essentially lost thousands of dollars of potential scholarship money, and subsequently lost hundreds of potential new students who could have benefited from those funds.
By keeping the name and focusing on strengthening the women''s emphasis at the university, the W has a chance to offer women AND men a unique educational experience, unlike anything offered by another public university in this country. I truly believe there are many students in this country who, like me, like the W girls I know, are eager to embrace such a curriculum. In my experience, I don''t know many well-educated men who would deny themselves the chance to obtain a quality education from a campus teeming with women.
And those who do choose to deny themselves the opportunity ... well, they can always attend MSU or Ole Miss, because, like any university, despite its name, the W is not a perfect fit for everyone. But more needs to be done to entice those students -- male and female -- who will benefit from all of the wonderful things The W can and always has offered. The future begins not with a new name, but with NEW, inspiring, capable leadership dedicated to marketing the university''s strengths and celebrating its innate appeal.
MUW Class of 2007
Melody commented at 8/9/2009 1:49:00 PM:
Well put ! I am in total agreement.
Take an ethics class! commented at 8/9/2009 4:03:00 PM:
The link above will take you to the FULL text of the letter. Seems the CD decided to edit this letter, without consultingn the author, cutting much of the information out about why alumni are displeased with Limbert performance. Funny, all the parts that were edited out of the letter were the parts that didn't jibe with the Birney Imes editorial today. Ethics, anyone??
Donna L. Bridges commented at 8/9/2009 9:43:00 PM:
Brandy, they can simply choose not to print an editorial, or letter to the editor. And, they can edit if it is only for length. Any other reason is a no-no--NO.
Columbus resident through 1985
Tupelo resident through 1990
Decatur, GA now, August 2009
ImaWgirl commented at 8/10/2009 10:02:00 AM:
My grandmother went to II&C, my mother, aunts and cousins to MSCW and I went to MUW...so there has been change. But, not JUST for the sake of change and the initial mission was NEVER in question. Why not Mississippi University at Columbus - if we HAVE to change (per Limbert's lame reasonsing regarding funding). ImaWgirl '79
Renaird Sanford commented at 8/10/2009 1:23:00 PM:
I can understand many of the sentiments that are being expressed one way or the other relating to the name change. I am a "W" man and I love my experience and the educational opportunity that I recieved at the W. I do feel that if anyhing the for Women part has to change. Why not "Mississippi University for Women and Men".This would save face for everyone. The W is there for all and should really reflect that, being its a state funded institution. The W mission has changed to educate both men and women and should not include "admitting men" only in fine print. Whenever I mention where I attended, It strikes up a amusing conversation, but most of the time its not in a positive manner. I'm not ashamed of where I went, but the degree should carry weight for both the female and male students who have them. Please all lets move on and support any efforts to improve our university. Let rally behind what ever name is decided upon and remember that nothing stays the same forever. This may just be the next step to further improve the image and stronghold around the world our school has earned.
Male MUW Alumn commented at 8/10/2009 9:21:00 PM:
I am a twice alumn of MUW, and I am a male and a minority. I didn't go to MUW because of the name but because it is the college I wanted to attend. The issue is not the name, no matter they call the university people are going to go only if they want to no matter what they name it. The immediate effect that everyone thinks the name change will have, will not be seen for at least 15 to 20 years... Reneau University will be known as MUW for a loonnnngggg time at least 15 to 20 years... no one knows of Reneau University and when it is spoken of people will say "Oh, it used to be Mississippi University for Women." or "The college formerly known as MUW." My Bachelor and Master Degree reads Mississippi University for Women, and I shall always be a proud alumn of Mississippi University for Women.
1. Voice of the people: Elaine Hegwood LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)
2. Our View: Time to set the Legislature straight on open meetings DISPATCH EDITORIALS
3. Voice of the people: Lori LeVar Pierce LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)
4. Local voices: Remembering Ed Phillips LOCAL COLUMNS
5. Our View: Does Selma still matter? Non-voters say no DISPATCH EDITORIALS