Several hundred people attended the morning ceremony, including faculty, past and current students, representatives of local government, the Georgia Baptist Convention, and the Shorter University Board of Trustees.
“The event culminates the dreams in the hearts and minds of many individuals who helped Shorter College become what it is and will continue to make Shorter University what it will be,” said Shorter President Harold E. Newman.
Newman shared the history of Shorter with those in attendance, telling them the college began as a girls school on Shorter Hill in downtown Rome. He also said this year is the 100th anniversary of the move to the current campus.
The transition won’t change Shorter’s mission, its goals or its treatment of its students, said Newman, an idea that was echoed by Sabrena Parton, dean of the college of arts and sciences.
“Our name change simply recognizes what we have already become,” said Parton, explaining that the new name will allow Shorter graduates to better compete in the post-college world, especially internationally, where there is a significant difference between the words college and university.
Senior art major Brayden Huskey, who spoke on behalf of her fellow students, said the word university holds an interesting meaning for her as well.
“When I conceptually think about the word university, I see two words: unity and diversity,” said Huskey.
She said those two words are appropriate because Shorter embraces both concepts. Huskey said she has always felt at home at the school and has learned a lot in the classroom and as part of the community.
Nelson Price, chairman of the Shorter University Board of Trustees, called the celebration a joyous event and said the trustees are committed to helping the administration, staff and faculty enrich its historical reputation as a flagship Christian university.
“Our proud past is a prologue to an even more productive future,” said Price.
During the ceremony a well-timed crew from the Rome Public Works department arrived at the intersection of Shorter Avenue and Sherwood Road to hang two new signs pointing motorists onto the campus of Shorter University. The first sign was already up when the tarps covering the new campus signs were pulled back, revealing Shorter’s new logo on either side of a large fountain display.
The unveiling event was the kickoff for a day of Shorter events, including a luncheon, concert, campus tours, and Shorter University night at the Rome Braves game.
Shorter also unveils its new website today, at www.Shorter.edu.