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In an Aug. 22 letter sent to alumni, University of Southern Maine President Glenn Cummings floated the idea of changing the university's name. Cummings said he'd been thinking “a lot about whether a new name for our university might better extend our geographic reach and enhance our reputation and appeal among college-bound students here in Maine and beyond.” He reassured alumni the idea of changing USM's name — which has been in place since 1978, when it changed from being known as University of Maine at Portland-Gorham — “is only an exploration” at this point. The university plans to seek input from its 52,000-strong alumni network in addition to its students, faculty and employees. It also has hired Broadreach Public Relations and Market Decisions Research to conduct the survey and to do the market and brand research to determine whether a name change would be beneficial in attracting potential students to the university, which has campuses in Portland, Gorham and Lewiston-Auburn.
Should the University of Southern Maine change its name?