The interim president of Mississippi University for Women says officials have a goal of reaching 3,000 students, something she says MUW officials are optimistic they’ll reach.
Allegra Brigham spoke to the Starkville Rotary Club Monday.
Brigham was the CEO of 4-County Electric Cooperative before taking on the interim role at her alma mater to fill the post vacated by Dr. Claudia Limbert, who retired.
There are 2,557 students for spring term, the highest term of its kind since 2000, she said.
There were more than 2,500 this past fall, its largest fall enrollment since the same year.
“We, like Mississippi State, feel like the economy is helping keep people in school longer and it’s also bringing adults back into higher ed to retool for the changing job market that we’re all facing,” Brigham said.
“We’ll continue to work toward that and we are optimistic that we will get there,” she said of the goal to have 3,000 students on campus.
She also addressed an audience member’s question about the possibility of changing the university’s name.
“On a personal level, I truly believe the name needs to be changed from a marketing and public relations perspective. ... But there are those in our alumni ranks and even on our campus who are opposed to that,” she said.
The Mississippi Legislature considered the name change last year, but alumnae opposed it and the bill did not leave committee, Brigham said.
“As far as I’m concerned as an interim, that is not on the table nor on the agenda,” she said.
She says her largest challenge has been to bring back together the alumni and alumnae for MUW. “We are as close today in doing that as we have ever been and I still hold out hope we will be able to do that,” Brigham said.
In the near term, Brigham expects an announcement about permanently filling the MUW president’s job. “Probably by late fall there will be a new president” at the university, she said.