Brittany Peck ~ Editor in Chief
The students and alumni of Lynchburg College appear to be torn as they choose sides on the matter of the installment of a new name for LC in the fall of 2018.
There are alumni and students on both sides of the spectrum, but if my sampling of them is an indication, the majority of both seem to be upset by the name change.
Alumnus David Hylton stated that he has more of an issue with how the name change was handled by LC than he does the actual name change.
He said that the school failed to explain the reasons for transferring to university status adequately and found that “many of [his] friends across multiple classes seemed to agree.”
Alumna Heather Mazur also said that she found the change to be unnecessary, even though she said she understood what the school was trying to do.
A lack of clarity or a disconnect in the line of communication was a concern for a number of the alumni and students.
Junior Savannah Mann was one example of a student that felt ignored by the decision to take on university in our name.
She stated that the town hall meetings were at inconvenient times for those who worked, and she felt that “there could have very easily been a public… forum posted on Moodle to gain [the students’] feedback and questions.”
Mann argued that the students should have the chance to vocalize themselves over how their tuition money will be spent.
There was also a number of students that brought up their unease over the possibility of an increase in tuition.
Junior Christine Britcher said that she is “concerned that the already high tuition fees at LC will go up even further upon the official name change… to cover the re-branding, marketing and media output that will come along with the new name.”
Vice President for Business and Finance, Stephen Bright stated that tuition will be addressed in a similar way to how it was in previous years. He believes that the school has been “very conservative” in the tuition increases that have occurred.
The school has also stated that tuition costs will not be set or changed by the claiming of university status.
Britcher also addressed the fear that the community and atmosphere of LC would change, but President Garren stated that LC is “not changing [its] focus.” It will always be centered on the students.
While LC’s mission is to keep the students the priority in making this transition, alumna Hunter Tyson feels as though her diploma has less significance without the existence of LC.
Assistant Vice President for College Communications and Marketing, Michael Jones said that “all of the work of [LC’s] strategic planning team to enhance engaged learning and build upon the college’s strengths… is designed to increase the value of a Lynchburg diploma.”
As a member of the first class graduating under the new name, junior Chelsey Fix said that she is “excited to be a symbol of a fresh start.”
She finds the name change to be a new beginning for LC, rather than the end she believes many of her classmates are seeing.
On the other hand, alumni Mariah Burgess and Rob Carter looked at the name change as a continuation of the strong Lynchburg legacy.
They both agreed that in a way it will always be LC to them, but, as Carter states “the University of Lynchburg will continue to showcase its community under the title it deserves.”
Burgess states that she is proud to be a part of the “college generation,” that will soon be in LC’s past, but she also finds that “this change shows the university is moving in a forward direction.”
Students and alumni both show some disagreement as well as some support. Garren responded with an encouragement to all who are worried to revisit the campus after the name change that the University of Lynchburg will still be focused on the students the same way it was when they went to LC.