So You Want To Be A University

Photo by Ben Isaacs

Written by Tabitha Rice. Media by Ben Isaacs.

So, you want to be a University? Well, why? What’s so great about being a university instead of a college? Some members of the Greenville College (almost University) community responded to this very question!

The general response to the question of what people are looking forward to from GC’s change to university status has been interesting, to say the least. The student response was the smallest, reinforcing the whole “20-year-olds are bad at responding to e-mails” stereotype.

The Papyrus’ own Erin Lobner’s response was comical and heartfelt. She said she was scared, specifically “teriyaki chicken” about the situation. In all seriousness, she said,

“I’m excited to be part of the first class to graduate from Greenville University. I think that the new programs that come with the name change will provide lots of new opportunities for future students.” Some of these new changes can be seen even this year, with the addition of brand new majors like video game design.

Senior Charlie Herrick responded humorously and heartfeltly as well, saying,

“I am living in great dread of such a catapultuous [that’s now a word] time. . . . . In reality, as a senior and off-campus at that, I’ve been largely unaffected by any changes which have occurred in this transition. I hope that Greenville University will continue its legacy of kindness and intellect that I have experienced here.”

Personally, I agree with Charlie in the hope that Greenville University has the same sense of community it did as a college. New students and majors are great and all, but the sense of community is one of the foundations of Greenville College.

Our lovely faculty members responded similarly to each other in different ways. Matt Bernico of the CVCMS said,

“I think it’s cool GC is rebranding, but I hope it’s more than that! As GC transitions to GU I hope that it takes a more globalized focus in its course content and pedagogy. My hope for Greenville University to be a site of international Christian study where we shift our focus toward a decolonial and less Eurocentric worldview.”

Richard Huston, history professor and study abroad champion, said,

“Becoming a university is long overdue. When I travel abroad, I have to explain to people that where I teach is actually a university, in spite of the fact that for most foreigners, the name “college” means secondary school. What’s more, the name change will make it easier to recruit and attract international students.”

Brian Hartley of the Bastian School of Theology had similar sentiments, saying,

“I am hopeful that moving to university status will help us to reach further and expand the diversity on our campus.  I look forward to welcoming more international students and faculty, as well as facilitating our individual schools to launch out in new directions.”

Jane Bell of the Briner School of Business responded in a similar manner by saying,

“As a marketing professor, I can definitely see the benefit of how that better describes our product. I don’t think ‘college’ described it well enough, at least in today’s higher education. Perhaps when they named it ‘Greenville College’ back in the 1880’s, or whenever it was, that was descriptive. But I think now what we’re offering and what we’re giving students is better described as a university.”

The front entrance to the Ruby E. Dare Library is the inspiration for the new Greenville University Logo. (Photo by Ben Isaacs)

All in all, the rebranding of Greenville College will most likely attract more students and provide opportunities for new majors to be added as well as obsolete ones filtered out. Most of the signs are gone now, which is a shame, as some visitors are unaware of the rebranding still. If you want to keep track of exactly how long is left until Greenville College is officially Greenville University, there is a countdown on our website. Feel free to check it out! Greenville University will be here September 20th, 2017. Get ready for all of the new merchandise!


  1. Actually, we will be Greenville University on June 1st, 2017. September 20th is the official start of our 125th year of instruction – it’s our convocation ceremony.


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