April 12, 2012
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Metro State U! Metro State community invited to “Name Change” bill-signing ceremony, April 18 in the SSB
After years of brand assessments, community advocacy and legislative negotiations, Metropolitan State College of Denver receives final legislative authority to change its name to Metropolitan State University of Denver on Wednesday, April 18 when Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signs SB12-148 into law in the Student Success Building lobby. The name change takes effect on July 1.
The entire Metro State community is invited to attend the event, which will start at 2:45 p.m., with the governor's signing occurring promptly at 3 p.m. Lt. Gov. Joseph Garcia, Board of Trustees Vice Chair Michelle Lucero as well as the bill's sponsors, Sen. Lucia Guzman and Rep. Crisanta Duran, will attend. Refreshments, including cupcakes from the Metro State alumni-owned Cake Crumbs bakery, will be served.
The bill reads as follows:
“The general assembly hereby finds and declares that: The board of trustees of Metropolitan State College of Denver, as appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate, has a fiduciary responsibility as the college's governing body to oversee the operation of the institution and has determined that it is in the best interests of the institution, its students, alumni, and the public to change the name of the institution to "Metropolitan State University of Denver…"
Acknowledging the upcoming bill-signing ceremony, Metro State President Stephen Jordan says, “The passage of this bill by the legislature and its signing into law represents a university-wide and community achievement. Countless people at Metro State and throughout Colorado have worked tirelessly on behalf of this institution to see to it that we get a name to match our reality: We are the university of choice for more Colorado undergraduates than any other school in the state.”
Gov. Hickenlooper will also sign SB12-045, Higher Education Associate Degree Transfer, at the Metro State ceremony.
The Strategic Name Change Initiative began in the aftermath of two brand assessments in 2006 and 2009, which uncovered marketplace confusion about Metro State’s name and status. “The public was unclear about whether we were a four-year institution or a two-year community college,” explains Cathy Lucas, associate to the president for marketing and communications. “This not only impinged on our ability to communicate our story—that we deliver a high-quality, accessible and relevant four-year education to diverse students—it has also challenged our graduates to explain their alma mater to potential employers.”
Additional studies in early 2011 that involved an online survey, focus groups and interviews with 9,000 participants revealed enormous support for the initiative, with 80 percent endorsing a new name.
Initially the institution planned to submit the name Denver State University during the 2011 legislative session but pulled the request following objections from University of Denver officials that it was too similar to their name. Based on these concerns and alumni requesting the word "metropolitan" remain in the name, Metro State conducted further studies and negotiations with DU. Ultimately the name, Metropolitan State University of Denver, was presented to the General Assembly in February 2012. The bill passed in the senate on Feb. 29 and in the house on March 27.
A time of transformation: Next steps
The 2012-13 fiscal year will be one of transition with the new name being rolled out over time with full implementation targeted for July 2013. Marketing and Communications will take the lead in creating a formal deployment plan and timeline for the new name.
“We encourage all departments and programs to be as green and cost-conscious as possible and continue using the Metro State materials they have on hand until they run out,” Lucas explains. “We will be augmenting the logo and other identity materials with the new name for use starting in fall 2012.”
Eventually alumni, too, will have the option of getting new diplomas affixed with the Metropolitan State University of Denver name for a minimal charge.
“This is a historic moment for us,” Jordan says. “I am so proud of Metro State and our scrappy extended community for making this happen.”