Name selected for newly integrated universities California, Clarion and Edinboro

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A name has been selected for newly integrated universities California, Clarion and Edinboro.

Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson announced Thursday that the new university will be known as Pennsylvania Western University, or PennWest. The Board of Governors for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) approved the name at its quarterly meeting.

Dr. Pehrsson made the announcement in a video message to students, faculty and staff at all three campuses.

Also, students will be able to pick one of three designs for the new name via survey they received in their emails. All three designs use dark navy blue, red and gold.

“From the start, we have been intentional about building a student-focused university through the integration process,” said Pehrsson, who serves as president of Clarion and interim president at California and Edinboro. “This is one demonstration of what that truly means. Our students are being given three design options, and they will choose the one we’ll be using when the PennWest name appears on everything from T-shirts to billboards.”

Cal U, Clarion and Edinboro are pursuing accreditation for the new institution from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and they will abide by guidelines for marketing the integrated institution pending the commission’s approval.

The PennWest name was selected through a process of workshops and focus groups with students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees and community members, according to Dr. Pehrsson. Research was also conducted to be sure the name would perform well.

“We need a name that will be clear, distinctive and easy to remember, especially for prospective students and their families,” Pehrsson said. “We market-tested several options, and PennWest was the name that really stood out.”

University officials are expected to announce the winning design before the winter break.

“Our students will vote, and we will use the design they select,” Pehrsson said. “They are the future of Pennsylvania Western University, and we want them to wear our name proudly.”

Although the university’s name will change when integration takes effect next year, each campus also will retain its current location name, athletics branding and mascots.

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