In a shocking development, Amherst and Williams Colleges announced on April 1 that they would merge.
In a joint announcement on the colleges’ Instagram pages, Amherst president Michael A. Elliott and Williams president Maud S. Mandel said, “Neither of us came to our respective roles imagining such a move. Over time, as we worked together, we recognized how deeply our schools were in sync: our missions, priorities and educational philosophies had so much in common. Our school colors even used the same purple. Of course, there are also real differences, and we’ve long been rivals in varsity athletics. But given that Amherst was founded two hundred years ago by a group of faculty and students from Williams, in many ways this feels less like a merger and more like a family reunion.”
The announcement added, “While the merger officially begins tomorrow [April 2], the list of details yet to be resolved is staggering—starting with the new institution’s name. A joint naming task force has reached the short-list phase, with leading possibilities including Amilliams, Willherst (consistent with current practice, the ‘h’ would be silent), and current fan favorite Wamherst. Whatever the choice, the presidents are reassuring their communities that each campus will maintain its unique identity within the larger ‘brand family.’”
For all our readers, please note the date of the announcement.
And in related branding news, see this video from University of Virginia president Jim Ryan on how to refer to the university.
Florida International University meanwhile announced, also on April 1, that “to maintain a safe threshold of caffeine intake, all coffee on FIU campuses will undergo a chemical-free decaffeination process. Decaffeinated drink options will also replace caffeinated ones in vending machines, shops and cafes, including Recharge U.”
“FIU is the fastest-rising in U.S. public university rankings, having jumped 62 spots in the past 10 years and among the Top 15 most innovative public universities,” said Anthony Rionda, associate vice president of strategic communications, government and external affairs. “Some are saying we are unstoppable, and keeping our progress slow and steady is important. Leadership is taking this dramatic step in hopes that we will be able to slow our meteoric ascent in research and student success.”