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Two Emory Schools Renamed

By Molly Davis Posted: 09/15/2008
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The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences shed part of its name and gave it to Emory College as the Board of Trustees approved the schools’ name changes last week.

From now on, Emory College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will be known respectively as the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School.

“As the name changes reflect the academic foci of these two schools, the new names should articulate better the mission and activity within these schools,” Santa Ono, vice provost for academic initiatives and deputy to the provost, wrote in an e-mail to the Wheel.

The name “Emory College” was assigned in 1836 through a charter given by the Georgia legislature to the Georgia Methodist Conference. Ono wrote that the new name for the College is meant to represent the variety of subjects taught in the fields of arts and sciences. The new name is intended to draw attention to the College’s fundamental academic foundations, which emphasize the importance of building a strong background in the liberal arts and sciences, he wrote.

Other universities such as Johns Hopkins (Md.), Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.), the University of Virginia and Syracuse University (N.Y.) have colleges of “arts and sciences” due to similar educational ideals.

According to Ono, the name “arts and sciences” adheres to the academic goals set forth by the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences, founded in 1780 by John Hancock, John Adams, James Bowdoin and others, where the original charter declared the need “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity and happiness of a free, independent and virtuous people.”

Prior to becoming official, the name changes were discussed within the two schools. College Dean Robert Paul and Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Lisa Tedesco then met with Provost Earl Lewis and took up the matter with the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board. These discussions culminated with the approval of the Board of Trustees.

The name change from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, founded in 1919, to the simpler “Graduate School” is due to the fact that several degrees offered there are in subjects that do not fit in the category of arts and sciences. For example, programs in biomedical and biological sciences are unlike related topics in mathematics, biology and physics in that they are not considered part of the traditional arts and science faculty, but have still been offered at the Graduate School.

The amendments to the two schools’ names do not indicate any upcoming curriculum changes, Ono wrote.

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