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Name change Q&A

As of July 1, 2016, Tennessee Wesleyan is officially known as Tennessee Wesleyan University! The name change was approved by the institution’s Board of Trustees in November 2015 as a way to reflect Tennessee Wesleyan’s evolution into a more complex institution with a wider range of programs.

Q: Why did the institution change its name?

A: Guided by the Strategic Plan 2022, Tennessee Wesleyan has been evolving into a more complex institution that includes graduate programs, adult degree completion programs and online offerings, as well as three instructional sites. We also have in the pipeline additional programs that will serve diverse students with graduate and undergraduate programs. These changes are repositioning the institution in the marketplace and have raised the question if the term university is a more effective descriptor of this evolving comprehensive institution that offers varies programs through a variety of platforms and at three instructional sites. 

Q: What's in a name?

A: A name is important because it provides prospective students and families information about your mission and programs. The university descriptor connotes a multi-faceted institution that offers a broad array of programs that serve traditional, adult and graduate students. 

Q: By becoming a university, will Tennessee Wesleyan become large and impersonal?

A: Tennessee Wesleyan University is committed to its long traditional of personalized service to its students. We are known for small class size and personal attention from our talented professors who are devoted to exemplary teaching. Our staff members are also very committed to offering highly personalized service. We are devoted to maintaining our values while serving a broader range of students at different points in their career. 

Q: What is the advantage of a name change?

A: If the name change is accompanied with an implementation and effective communication plan, the new descriptor will better communicate who we have become. It can potentially reach a new group of students who are looking for a small comprehensive university that offers a broad mix of programs on campus, online and at other instructional sites in east Tennessee.

Q: Will changing the name change the relationship with the United Methodist Church?

A: No. Many fine universities are affiliated with the United Methodist Church. We are devoted to this relationship and hope to deepen it over time. 

Q: Will graduate programs overshadow the undergraduate programs?

A: No. We will work to achieve a balance of high quality graduate and undergraduate programs that are vital, sustainable and serve needs in our region. We will continue to consider and implement graduate programs that complement our undergraduate offerings and are financially self-sustainable over time. Moreover, these new programs allow us to serve out alumni with new educational opportunities for professional development as they endeavor to advance their careers. 

Q: When will the new name be officially recognized?

A: As of July 1, 2016, we are officially Tennessee Wesleyan University!

Q: Will the change be costly?

A: There will be some costs in changing signage, stationery, business cards, team uniforms and printed materials. Other than signage, most of these items are refreshed and reprinted every year or every other year. 

Q: As an alumnus or alumna of Tennessee Wesleyan, would I be a graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan College or Tennessee Wesleyan University?

A: Either one would be correct. If you order a transcript, it will come from Tennessee Wesleyan University.

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