Texas A&M regents to vote on renaming Baylor College of Dentistry

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by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 2 at 11:03 PM

DALLAS - When it opened in 1905, it was just known as State Dental College. Since 1918, it's had a much different association: Baylor College of Dentistry.

"The word 'Baylor' is not just something used lightly," said alumni association president Dr. Jonathan Clemetson. "It's a legacy. It really is a legacy."

It's been a part of the Texas A&M University System since 1996. And while the system seal is on the building, the school does not have A&M in its name.

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp wants that to change.

"They are the best, and I think when you have the best, you want the world to know it," he told regents Thursday afternoon.

Friday, regents are expected to vote to add the A&M brand to several agencies within the system. For example, the Texas Forest Service will become the Texas A&M Forest Service. The Texas Engineering Extension Service will become the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service.

Regents will also discuss whether to begin negotiations with Baylor on how to add the A&M name to the college of dentistry.

One proposal: Texas A&M Baylor College of Dentistry, with the words "Texas A&M" in maroon, and perhaps twice as large as "Baylor."

If negotiations don't go well, it is possible the school could become the Texas A&M College of Dentistry.

Clemetson polled fellow alums.

"Eighty-nine-point-something percent of them said they were against the name change," he said. "That's the collective alumni. And personally, I am also against it."

Baylor University has nothing to do with the college any more. It operates as a licensee of the Baylor name.

A Baylor University spokesperson said Thursday night Baylor "recognizes the value of the Baylor brand [and] A&M recognizes the value of the Baylor brand."

She stressed both entities will work together.

Clemetson's diploma has both the A&M System and Baylor names on it.

"The hybrid name they have now, in my opinion, satisfies everybody," he said. "The dental school gets credit, A&M gets credit, even Baylor gets credit. And you haven't erased 100 plus years."

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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