Something about Mary Washington
When Mary Washington College becomes a university, it may drop “Mary” to avoid the image of a women’s college. The 4,000-student, public college is located in Fredricksburg, Virginia, birthplace of George Washington’s mom. It began admitting men in 1970.
The Washington Post reports:
Nearly 2,000 alumni have signed an online petition threatening to halt donations if the future university dumps the traditional name. Two professors launched a T-shirt campaign and have sold 350 of them in two weeks. The front of the shirt says: “Save the Name.” The back, quoting George himself, says: “Everything I am I owe to my mother.”
But admissions officials say the name confuses some potential applicants, making them think the school is a women’s college. Men’s basketball coach Ron Wood said the name’s connotations have turned off many a recruit, as well as some potential opponents. Wood said several colleges have refused to play Mary Washington for fear of losing to a school with a woman’s name.
Notre Dame is named after a woman. I wonder if it has similar problems.