Hagerstown Junior College: Want that super-sized?

January 26, 1998

Hagerstown Junior College: Want that super-sized?

Is a college by any other name still a college?

Or, in the words of Bruce Springsteen, is it something more?

The educating classes at Hagerstown Junior College are debating that right now, under the premise that the word "junior" might not be the best conveyance for the big things that are happening at the school.

I agree, the word "junior" hardly describes the big doins at the tech center, or the plans for a new library, or the HJC-Allegany basketball brawls, or the satisfaction of a Molly Schoenberg layup off a Toni DeStefano assist (all right, so I enjoy women's basketball. Sue me).


To be sure, "junior" doesn't always imply small, and I am thinking specifically of Junior Samples. Or Ken Norton Jr.

And the word "senior" doesn't always convey superiority either, and here I am thinking specifically of the PGA Senior Tour. I can trace the day television lost me straight back to the first time I flipped a channel and saw a bunch of plaid-trousered geezers tottering around a grassy knoll. It was exactly as if I were watching one of those convenience store surveillance cameras that just happened to be set up just outside of Tampa. Scary.

What of the other common juniors, are they so bad? Junior executive, Junior Miss, Junior Jumble, junior circuit, Junior Johnson, Morton Downey Jr ... Ack! Stop it, you win.

Anyhow, you can't call it Hagerstown Junior And We Mean That In a Good Way College because it's too long, and you can't call it Hagerstown Senior College - or can you? You say it doesn't have any seniors? So what, it doesn't have any juniors either, yet it's been sneaking along for years under this fraud.

Hagerstown Sophomore College sounds a little flat.

Kepler U. has a nice ring to it.

What You Do If It's Too Far To Drive To College Park College lacks in brevity what it may incorporate in accuracy.

If "junior" is too wimpy, you could call it The Hagerstown Testosterone College. The word "the" is important too because it lends stature. Like the way students no longer go to Ohio State University, they go to The Ohio State University.

How about, Many of Our Students Have Not Have Flings With Bill Clinton, At Least We Don't Think So, College.

So far, the real front-runners appear to be Hagerstown College or Hagerstown Community College. I don't like Hagerstown College because HC sounds too much like a kids' breakfast beverage.

And Hagerstown Community College is sooooo predictable. We could throw that on the pile with "School" Stadium and "Dual" Highway.

Just please, please don't follow the lead of the Chamber of Commerce and the economic development commission the tourism board by calling it the Hagerstown/Washington County Community College. This ink ain't cheap, you know. And how come it hasn't dawned on some of the brightest minds around that Hagerstown is IN Washington County is beyond me.

Robinwood College is a pretty name. And if you want the town included, you could call it Robinwood College-Hagerstown. (Hey it works for the prisons).

Some people are concerned that changing the name will be too expensive. You would have to switch all the signs, stationery and redesign the Web page.

But that didn't stop the Washington Bullets from becoming the Washington Wizards - although in hindsight, after the arrests of its top three players on various charges, it appears Bullets may have been more apropos after all.

But getting back to the Lady Hawks, I may see a solution in the comments of basketball coach Marlys Palmer, who said the word "junior" is mindful of "...a junior-sized hamburger. Nobody wants that, we want a jumbo."

Of course, that's it! Hagerstown Jumbo College.


See? You don't even have to change the stationery.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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