Naming committee mulls over options

The University of Alaska Anchorage Naming Committee held an open forum last Wednesday to allow the campus community to give input in the renaming of several university buildings.

“This particular session was meant more for faculty and staff because we do realize the students are not in (school),” said Irfan Ahmed, committee chair and assistant professor of marketing. “We’re going to be scheduling similar sessions again. We do want student input.”

Among the buildings to be renamed are Building K, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Administration building. Buildings with the word center currently in their names, with the exception of the University Center, will also be re-designated.

“If they (the buildings) have a person’s name on them already, we have to honor that,” said John Dede, committee member and director of marketing and communications.

Although turn out for the meeting was low, the 15 member committee has received numerous suggestions and comments via e-mail over the last several weeks.

“We got everything from one liners to two-pages,” said committee member Greta Black, assistant to the vice-chancellor. “We did get a lot of different names.”

E-mails suggesting Della Keats and Lew Haines as possible honorees were discussed.

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The committee wants to avoid the use of acronyms while renaming the building.

Professor of English, Suzanne Forster was present to submit an idea to the committee.

Forster suggested naming a building after Anchorage resident and writer Lenore Hedla and her late husband George Hedla for a pending contribution of $1 million to the university for scholarships.

The scholarships proposed would focus on offering help to nontraditional students such as single mothers and students who work full time.

“When this renaming came up I thought that their names should, at least be considered,” Forster said. “I think they’ve been very generous in terms of what they’ve contributed to the community.”

Also to be renamed are student housing buildings. The Naming Committee will be soliciting input from the resident students who live there.

The new names are a part of a UAA effort to “improve building and directional wayfinding and signage across campus as part of a larger initiative to enhance the campus’ appeal,” according to a document authored by Ahmed last July.

The new signs are scheduled for installation before the first snowfall.

The Naming Committee is planning at least three more open forum sessions in hopes of receiving more student input.

The meetings are tentatively scheduled for the third week of instruction.

You can send suggestions via e-mail to [email protected] You can also fill out our published or online form and drop it off at the Northern Light office.

 

“If they (the buildings) have a person’s name on them already, we have to honor that.”

John Dede, committee member and director of marketing and communications.