Local colleges play the name game | Business premises

What’s in a name?

Local colleges, it seems, can’t start calling themselves universities fast enough.

It all started in February, when D’Youville College in Buffalo threw a day-long party with music, food and gifts for students, faculty and staff to celebrate its new nickname, the D’Youville University.

A month later, Daemen College in Amherst renamed itself Daemen University. President Gary Olson announced “a campus-wide celebration of this milestone” to follow his state of the university address on April 27.

And Medaille College at Buffalo plans to do the same. He announced that he will also be seeking state approval to become Medaille University, which based on previous experience will likely be cause for further celebration.

What’s wrong with a name?

It starts with a rule change.

New York’s small private colleges that had been trying to call themselves universities for years prevailed in January when the State Board of Regents updated its old-fashioned definition of “university.”

The new definition expanded the wording of what is considered a university, bringing it into line with what is used in the other 49 states across the country.

The result: Many New York “colleges” were suddenly able to apply for university status. So far, D’Youville, Daemen, Utica College, and Touro College in New York have been successful in making the switch.

About Rachel Gooch

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