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July 23, 2001

What's in a name? Introducing Emory's Briarcliff and Clairmont campuses

By Michael Terrazas



After much discussion among students, faculty and staff to come up with suitable monikers for the Emory “satellite” campuses formerly known as Emory West and University Apartments, the Board of Trustees’ Real Estate, Buildings and Grounds Committee has selected Emory University-Briarcliff Campus and -Clairmont Campus.

The committee first chose “Clairmont Commons” and “Briarcliff Commons” to reflect the ancient use of “commons” in academic settings, according to University Secretary Gary Hauk, but a local developer already was using Briarcliff Commons to name a cluster of homes around Northlake Mall.

Curt Carlson, vice president for Public Affairs, came up with final solution.

“The ‘east’ and ‘west’ campuses are firmly part of Emory, not auxiliary enterprises of some kind,” Carlson said. “Their names should reflect this status. At the same time, for practical and logistical reasons, they need some kind of unique identification. The bottom line is that when a person enters the gates to these campuses, they should feel they are truly ‘at’ Emory University.”

“My bias against calling them ‘east’ and ‘west’ was that other universities do it, and
I think we could be more original than that,” said Todd Schill, director of Residential Services. “I think [the new names] appropriately describe what we’re talking about and where we’re talking about it.”

Institutional memory being what it is, Schill said the two campuses likely will be casually referred to by their old names for a while; for example, because of when the name change was formalized (it was approved in early July), Parking Director Bill Collier said the printed materials for 2002 parking registration still will have the old University Apartments name listed for the Clairmont Campus Parking Deck.

But over time the new names will take hold and the old will fade away. New signage will be installed at both campuses soon.


Back to Emory Report July 23, 2001