Georgia Regents University Augusta is the official name of a new institution resulting from the merger of two Augusta universities.
The decision came after some objected to dropping Augusta from the name. And it has branding implications for both the university and the city.
The new school will combine Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities.
And the name is a compromise after some business owners protested, insisting that Augusta be in the name. Officials had planned to call the school simply Georgia Regents University.
Chris Lemley is a Georgia State University marketing professor. He says the business community is savvy in broadening Augusta’s brand beyond the Masters’ golf competition.
“If you’re only known for one thing or if you’re mostly known for one thing, I should say, the more dimension, the more texture you can add to it, the more appealing it you make it for businesses to relocate there and to invest money there and to do business there,” he said.
He also says the name is clearer than the University of Augusta, which was one choice officials considered.
“Simply because, do you mean another Augusta in the United States?" he said. "By saying Georgia Regents, now you’ve narrowed down, now you’ve narrowed it down. You know it’s Augusta in the state of Georgia.”
Officials rejected several other names, including Augusta University and George Walton University.
University officials and members of a group called ‘Save The A’ met with Governor Nathan Deal last week to broker a compromise. One name that emerged from the meeting was Georgia Regents University at Augusta.
But Nick Evans, who spearheaded the 'Save the A' campaign, rejected that name.
“We do not want the word ‘at.’ It has to include the word Augusta but we don’t want it labeled as a destination," he said in an interview this week. "It needs to be a part of the name and brand.”