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After Brightwell dims, MUW proposes...

After Brightwell dims, MUW proposes name change to Wynbridge State University

By: Frank Corder - February 13, 2024

  • One reason for the choice was the school’s recommitment to centering their brand identity as “The W.”

After its proposed name change to Brightwell did not go over as well as supporters would have liked, the Mississippi University for Women took another shot at the endeavor, this time offering three other options: Wynbridge, Wellbright and Wynbright.

READ MORE: MUW offers three new name choices after Brightwell not well received

The pivot by the school allowed their Naming Task Force to send out another survey to gain feedback on the new proposed options. After evaluating the survey data, the group delivered the results to university President Nora Miller.

The university has been in the process of researching a potential name change since 2022. 

On Tuesday, Miller held an event at Poindexter Hall on the MUW campus in Columbus to announce the school’s proposed new name – Wynbridge State University of Mississippi.

Last month, the university said the first part of Wynbridge comes from the Old English word for the letter W. It was a name submitted by university alumni.

“Borrowing on this history, we pair it with bridge. A bridge connects the past to the future, our alums to our students, and our campus to our community,” the school stated. “When the W was founded, it built a bridge from exclusion to empowerment for women. With this name, past, present, and future alumni will all be W grads, creating a continuous connection for our tradition-rich school, while maintaining its forward-looking spirit.”

Those gathered at the event on Tuesday, including the mayor of Columbus where the school is located, were encouraged to contact their legislators and urge them to support the name change as “it is the W that bridges us all together.”

One reason for the choice was the school’s recommitment to centering their brand identity as “The W,” a well-known reference to the university. Supporters of the name change said their active alumni reminded them of the need to keep “The W” in whatever the chosen name would be.

The university, founded in 1884, has said a new name is being considered since its current name – Mississippi University for Women – does not effectively reflect the best marketing strategy to incorporate male students. Today, the university is home to more than 3,000 students and 70 majors and concentrations. The school has educated men for over 40 years. 

Lawmakers must approve the new change before it goes into effect.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: