Local leaders to gather at Capitol to support MUW name change bill

January 28, 2010 10:07:00 AM

Jason Browne - jbrowne@cdispatch.com

 

A group of business leaders from Columbus will visit Jackson Monday to support for a bill that could change the name of Mississippi University for Women. 

 

The Columbus-Lowndes Development Link is organizing a trip to the Capitol to attend a Senate Universities and Colleges Committee meeting. The committee will discuss Senate Bill 2702, which recommends giving Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning the power to enact name changes at Mississippi universities. 

 

Committee Chair Sen. Doug Davis, R-Hernando, says arguments will be heard for and against the change and an IHL representative will speak, as well. He did not know today who would speak for each group. 

 

If the bill passes committee, it could reach the Senate floor in a "couple weeks," Davis said. 

 

Shasta Nance, office administrator for the Link, is organizing the trip. 

 

"We''ve heard from various sources that our business leaders have been quiet. It''s time for them to speak up," said Nance. 

 

The Link is hoping a presence of business leaders during the meeting will persuade legislators to award naming power to the IHL. She says the name change is necessary to sustain MUW''s enrollment. 

 

"If one student isn''t willing to go because of the name, that''s one student too many," Nance said. 

 

It''s unknown how many Columbus business leaders will attend the committee meeting. Nance said it''s the Link''s role as the chamber of commerce to mobilize the business community on such issues. She said the group will be present to show support for the bill, as well as to speak with legislators if possible.  

 

The Link''s board of directors voted in July 2008 to support a name change for the university.