Red Deer College will announce its new university name Tuesday morning. (File photo contributed)

Anticipation builds over Red Deer College’s new name

Announcement to be made Tuesday

Red Deer College’s new name is a tightly held secret, but it’s a certainty that the region’s university won’t be named after a person.

That’s as much as board of governors chairman Morris Flewwelling will say, adding that the abbreviation needed to be considered.

“You have to be careful that the letters will make a decent version. You can’t have something like Flewwelling University. FU is not a good combination,” he joked.

The announcement of the new name, to be made at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Red Deer College Arts Centre, is open to the public.

In March 2018, the college was given permission to become a degree-granting institution, and the school has consulted with the community to determine a new name.

Flewwelling said about 400 people were involved in public sessions and interviews.

“There was a lot of research and thought that went into it and a lot of public consultation. Then the report was given to the board in camera and the board made a recommendation to the minister. The minister is the person who will choose the name,” said Flewwelling.

Mayor Tara Veer said she hopes the name will be authentic to the community, and that the word university is included.

Rick More, CEO of the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce, said he will be attending the announcement with an open mind.

“This is kind of historic for us. I kind of like not knowing,” More said.

More said it was like finding out if someone gave birth to a baby girl or boy.

Shopper Debbie Retzlaff, of Rimbey, suggested the post-secondary institution be called Red Deer University.

“Keep it simple. If you change it up too much, it will just get confusing,” Retzlaff said while at Bower Mall.

Another shopper, John Kraal, of the Bowden area, also said simple is better.

“I would just call it Red Deer University. Just change the college out for university,” Kraal said.

He said whatever the name is, the facility will be ready for what comes next with its new sports centre and residence.

Ron Vickers, of Rocky Mountain House, said his granddaughter is finishing up her bachelor of science program at the college and appreciated having the option available.

“It saved a couple of my kids from going farther afield to U of A or U of C. It’s fantastic,” Vickers said.

As far as the college’s new name goes, Vickers suspects Red Deer will be part of it.

Martin Watts, of Red Deer, said he doesn’t really have a name preference, but also recommended Red Deer University or University of Red Deer.

“They could really (rile) Jason Kenney and name it Rachel Notley University,” Watts said with a laugh.

He said just remember not to make the same mistake that the Canadian Reform Alliance Party once made, as far as initials go.

“Somebody didn’t do their homework on that one,” Watts said.

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