Prachi Gohil, Roving Editor
When students return to Saint Martin’s next fall, they will notice something completely different about the school. On Sept. 26, the Board of Trustees approved a name change of the university. Starting on July 1, 2020, Saint Martin’s University will be known as “The Saint Martin’s University,” in all official documents and references, similar to The Ohio State University.
When asked about why the change is necessary, an anonymous figure in the administration said, “This change will certainly improve the prestige of our university. After all, it seems like every other university has put ‘the’ in front of their name, so why should we be any different?”
The transition will not come easy. It has been estimated that changing all of the signage and computer references will cost The Saint Martin’s University an estimated $1.4 million this school year (before any of the changes are actually made), and another $680,000 next school year.
“Changing our name was a long and arduous process. We paid a team of consultants around $178,000 over a three year period to assess different name changes and settle on one that best suits the image of The Saint Martin’s University. They also produced a 27 page document that explains their choice and how it relates to our brand image,” said the same anonymous official.
The Shallot was able to obtain an interview with the consultant, Glenda Elliot of No Problem Solutions LLC, who added that her report, “was extensive and covered many potential ways to rebrand The Saint Martin’s University. At one point we even considered corporate sponsorship. ESPN [a division of The Walt Disney Corporation] offered to pay an undisclosed amount of money if Saint Martin’s changed its name to ‘ESPN presents The Saint Martin’s University,’ in exchange for the exclusive broadcast rights to all men’s basketball games. However, this did not sit well with the faculty or administration.”
Student opinion seems torn on the decision of the name change. A student named Shawn said that he thought the name change was a good idea.
“I’m glad that they are making progress in updating the name and general brand of our institution. I’m sure that this is a great use of our resources.”
But not all opinion on the name change was positive. Another student, named Chloe, felt that the change was unnecessary and expensive.
“This is a total vanity project led by consultants who probably don’t even use their vanities (sic). I don’t understand why our tuition has to go up so much just to add one friggin’ word to our name!”
For better or for worse, The Saint Martin’s University will join the long and ever expanding list of colleges and universities in the United States that have decided to put “The” in front of their name for branding purposes. Time will tell if this change benefits the school, as the consultants think it will. Elliot and No Problem Solutions, LLC have already offered to do a second report should The Saint Martin’s University request it.