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Kari Lucin, Forum News Service, Published August 21 2013

Jamestown College changes name to University of Jamestown

JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Students admitted to Jamestown College this year became students of the University of Jamestown on Wednesday, as the school announced a long-considered name change with much fanfare.

“It’s going to be a great journey forward,” President Bob Badal told faculty, staff, students and media at the Reiland Fine Arts Auditorium.

Badal emphasized the school’s long tradition as a private liberal arts college founded by Presbyterian settlers in 1883, and referred to the school’s recent advances — enrollment projections for a head count of 1,000 students, partnerships with institutions abroad and an increasingly diverse student population.

He also referred to the school’s new Doctor of Physical Therapy program, which begins Tuesday with a class of 26 students, at the college’s satellite facility in Fargo. The program was granted the status of Candidate for Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education in July, meaning it can matriculate students in technical and professional courses. The school also offers a master’s degree in education and an online registered nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Along with the name change, Badal announced other changes for the newly minted University of Jamestown, such as new student housing, to be built near Wilson Hall on the north side of the campus near the hockey arena.

The new building will house 150 to 170 upperclassmen, and will likely be the largest residence hall on campus, both in physical space and in the number of students, Badal said.

“It’s possible to start building this winter before the frost,” Badal said.

When that building is complete, some existing dorms will be renovated into suite-style student housing, which will reduce their capacity, Badal said.

The university’s goal is to increase its enrollment to 1,200 students, including undergraduate and graduate students, Badal said, while still remaining focused on residential students.

To that end, the University of Jamestown is looking at expanding its existing graduate school opportunities in the areas of health care and business, Badal said.

Changing from “Jamestown College” to “University of Jamestown” will likely cost between $25,000 and $35,000, he said, and the school already has received a gift from a donor to help with the cost, making it “a blip for us.”

Eventually, Badal said, the university will get a new website address and new email addresses.

“We’re not going to change everything overnight,” Badal said, noting that some things will simply be replaced when they wear out. “... Some things are going to change right away.”

By Wednesday afternoon, the jc.edu website’s title graphic had already changed to “University of Jamestown,” complete with the new logo — similar to the old logo, but with the word “Jamestown” in capital letters and “University of” in italics, in the position where the word “College” used to be.

The school’s Facebook pages were another matter. One of them had changed, and the other was waiting for approval from Facebook to officially become “University of Jamestown.”

The pages themselves were abuzz with comments on the name change — many negative but also some positive, and others just wondering about buying either new University of Jamestown or old Jamestown College sweatshirts.

“I don’t know how to feel yet. It’s kind of hard because we spent two years at Jamestown College,” said Rachel Nyhus, a junior at the school.

“We’re having an identity crisis!” joked junior Jessie Steinwand, originally of Bismarck, adding that everyone at the school had heard rumors about the change. “We’ll embrace it eventually.”