A new name for Armstrong State University — no more Atlantic

Earlier today, the Board of Regents approved, as expected, a name change for Armstrong.

As of July 1, the institution on Savannah’s south side will be Armstrong State University, not Armstrong Atlantic State University.

The word “Atlantic” was added years ago when Armstrong State College was elevated to the status of University — and that word “Atlantic” never made any sense to me. It’s too general to give any sense of geography beyond suggesting proximity to the East Coast. And it made for a cumbersome title — it took a lot of space just to get Armstrong Atlantic printed in full.

Alumni from the earlier incarnation of Armstrong generally disliked the addition of “Atlantic”, but it’s worth noting that more recent graduates and some current students do not like the idea of the more streamlined new name. They have never known anything other than Armstrong Atlantic, and some are concerned about diplomas, resumes, and other documentation. All those are valid concerns, but they can be addressed pretty simply.

Others are concerned about confusion with other ASUs out there, including Albany State University. Yes, using “AASU” in an internet search is likely to point straight to Armstrong, while “ASU” will be more problematic, but marketing, branding, and public perception of the name generally focuses on just one word: Armstrong.

It’s clear that some people aren’t happy about the change and probably never will be. Check out some of the negative comments in today’s Facebook thread:

But I think the opportunities vastly outweigh the drawbacks.

In closing, for no real reason, here are a few shots of Armstrong’s gorgeous campus I’ve posted to Instagram over the last year: