Wesleyan Now a University

1 Jul 2016

Tennessee Wesleyan College Becomes Tennessee Wesleyan University

The sun set Thursday night on Tennessee Wesleyan College and rose this morning on Tennessee Wesleyan University.

The name change, which became official on July 1, 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 that includes graduate programs, adult studies programs and a wider range of undergraduate majors.

"The change is driven by our strategic plan, which calls for us to build new graduate programs as well as additional programs for adults," Tennessee Wesleyan President Dr. Harley Knowles said in January. "As we began to move down that path, we could see we needed to consider changing our name because it better describes the broad array of offerings. We wanted to make sure our name communicated to prospective students that this is a place they are wanted, that we have programs for them. It's like a big welcome sign."

The transition to university will begin in July, with the May graduating class being the last class to graduate from Tennessee Wesleyan College. The name change has been in the works for several years as the institution has grown and added new programs. Over the last few years, the school has added several new programs, including a Master of Science in Curriculum Leadership, an online Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies.

"The model we are headed towards is the small, American university with a broad array of undergraduate offerings and select adult and graduate programs that play to the strengths of the institution," Knowles said. "We are trying to serve a broader segment of the educational pipeline.

Signs on campus will be changed from "College" to "University" on a gradual basis. Plans are being made for a formal observance of the change at Tennessee Wesleyan, with more details published in The Daily Post-Athenian as they are released.

While the name and brand of Tennessee Wesleyan will change, the institution will remain part of the Appalachian Athletic Conference of the NAIA and will maintain and grow the relationship with the United Methodist Church.

For more information about Tennessee Wesleyan University, visit www.tnwesleyan.edu, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tnwesleyan and on Twitter @TNWesleyan