News Release

REF NO.: 0

SUBJECT: Grenfell: Memorial University seeking input on renaming of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College

DATE: April 22, 2010

          A Memorial University committee is seeking input from the public on the renaming of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University’s Corner Brook campus.

          In recent years, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College has been challenged by its name. Specifically, the term “college” has presented challenges for student recruitment outside of the province, for securing research grants, and in attracting faculty and staff to a place that is not clearly labelled as a “university.” With increasing competition to attract university students and faculty, renaming the college has been identified by both college officials and the provincial government as being critical to the campus’ future enrollment growth and development as a post-secondary, degree-granting institution.

          An announcement by the provincial government in December 2009 outlined a number of changes that would increase the Corner Brook campus’ autonomy, which included changing the name of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College.

          “The goal of this committee is to identify a name that reflects Grenfell’s relationship with Memorial University, one that also acknowledges the legacy associated with the name Sir Wilfred Grenfell and identifies the campus as being part of a degree-granting university – one that is positioned to find its place as a leading post-secondary university, recognized both nationally and globally,” said Dr. Christopher Loomis, Memorial University’s president pro tempore and chair of the task force that appointed the Communications and Nomenclature Committee.

          The membership of the committee includes representation from the St. John’s and Corner Brook campuses. From the St. John’s campus are Victoria Collins, executive director of the Division of Marketing and Communications and co-chair; Ivan Muzychka, associate director (communications), Marketing and Communications; and Jeff Hulan, marketing manager, Marketing and Communications. Members from the Grenfell campus are Jo-Anne Philpott, manager of Community Education and College Relations and co-chair; Pamela Gill, communications co-ordinator; and Julie Pitcher, assistant professor, Business.

          The committee has defined the following general goals for a new name:

• as an important part of Memorial University, Grenfell should have a new name that reflects its relationship with Memorial;
• a new name should reflect the longstanding association the campus has had with the name Sir Wilfred Grenfell;
• a new name must not include the word “college”
Memorial University is seeking input on a new name through a number of avenues. Public consultations will be held at the Corner Brook and St. John’s campuses:

• St. John’s -- Tuesday, April 27, from 2-4 p.m. in Room A-1043, Arts and Administration Building. Elizabeth Avenue
• Corner Brook -- Wednesday, April 28, 7-9 p.m. in LC-301, the lecture theatre of the Library and Computing Building, Grenfell College.
In addition, the public is invited to submit suggestions and supporting comments by email to name@swgc.mun.ca or by visiting the website www.swgc.mun.ca/name by Monday, May 3, 2010.

          Memorial University of Newfoundland opened the Western Regional College at Corner Brook in 1975. The campus was renamed Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in 1979 in honour of the internationally known philanthropist, missionary and physician of northern Newfoundland and Labrador.

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