February 11, 2009
Although I understand that the Cirlot agency was charged with testing the three names submitted by Dr. Limbert''s committee on changing the name of MUW, they are not getting an accurate picture of public sentiment. If people are forced to choose one of the three submitted names, Cirlot can declare a "winner" without ever knowing that a large percentage of the public still doesn''t prefer any one of the three. It would have been more useful to take the pulse of readers by also including "none of the above."
I was in Jackson for a week after the names were made public. Friends of mine who know I am an alum would approach me and say "I don''t like any of those names!" I did not solicit their response and they do not have involvement with the university. As a matter of fact, I was surprised that they were all so vocal. I did not have a single person tell me that they liked one or more of the names.
Therefore, I believe that the poll will be skewed and not reflect the general attitude of the public. Just because a select committee chose these three from all those submitted does not mean that they will be received with favor. Even if I were personally committed to a new name for our university, I could not in good conscience vote for one of these. There were names on the master list that might have been worth examining. Unfortunately, the Cirlot agency will never get a sense of whether they would have been marketable.
Donette Dunaway Lee
MUW, Class of 1957