Posted: September 18, 1998

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Diplomas at Mankato State University next spring will read "Minnesota State University, Mankato."

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees on Friday unanimously approved changing the name of the Mankato institution from Mankato State University to Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Mankato State University President Richard Rush said the new name reflects his school's growing national and international presence with its programs in wireless communication, computer science and other areas. Having the name "Minnesota" come before "Mankato" brings more instant recognition with people who live outside of Minnesota, Rush said. "Our research shows the public perception is that universities with state names have more credibility than those with city names," said Rush.

The MnSCU Board of Trustees decided to use a comma rather than a dash or the word "at" to separate "Minnesota State University" and "Mankato."

The board also voted to have the other six state universities review their names and report back in a year whether or not they are interested in following Mankato's name-change lead. The other state universities are Bemidji State, Metropolitan State, Moorhead State, St. Cloud State, Southwest State and Winona State. Rush said the name change is a result of three years of consultation on the issue among students, faculty, community residents and Mankato State benefactors. Once people heard the rationale for change, he said, they all favored it.

Other MnSCU state university presidents have said they support the Mankato name change, but do not know if their campuses will follow the Mankato lead.

The MnSCU Board of Trustees first discussed the name change in July. They decided on Friday that the issue had enough urgency to change it from a non-action item to an action item. Minnesota State University, Mankato will begin using its new name immediately, but Rush said it will be two or three months before the university is ready to officially unveil its new name and identity.

"We will have a huge celebration when we make the official transition," he said. Minnesota State University, Mankato was originally founded in 1868 as Mankato Normal School. It now serves more than 12,000 students with more than 150 programs of study.