Panama City - Back in August we were the first to tell you that Gulf Coast Community College officials were considering a name change for the school. They believe a change is appropriate now that the college will be offering four year degrees. School officials narrowed the list to nine names, based on the opinions of 17,000 people who voted.
Gulf Coast leadership considered nine possible new names Friday morning for what is now Gulf Coast Community College. Most agree the name should reflect that Gulf Coast will be offering four-year degree programs beginning next fall.
GCCC President Dr. Jim Kerley said, "We are evolving. We are keeping the greatness of what we are as a college, but we are expanding our mission to serve and get more access."
The committee was careful to consider how each suggested name and its acronym would effect public perception: Would it cause confusion being too similar to another school or organization? Is the web address available?
Four names got considerably more votes than the others on the survey. Those names are Gulf Coast College, Gulf Coast State College, Emerald Coast College, and Emerald Coast State College.
Committee members are also being careful to consider the recognition, reputation and goodwill the current name has built over the last half-century. Dr. Kerley admits the name "Gulf Coast" is important to a lot of people, including the athletic department.
"It's important for them as far as recruiting, it's also important for marketing our college overall...I heard that it's important for alumni to see that we kept our Gulf Coast name," Kerley said.
Kerley will make recommendations for approval to the District Board of Trustees at a meeting on January 13.