Montreat College Merger Generates Surprise, Some Optimism

Historic Presbyterian college would give up name in merger with Georgia school

Montreat officials announced July 29 that they were pursuing a merger with Point University, a Christian Church (Stone-Campbell Movement) affiliated school in West Point, Ga. Montreat, which was founded nearly 100 years ago, would give up its name with the new entity being called Point University, officials said…The schools would maintain separate campuses, and “‘Montreat’ will continue to be part of the name of the campus in Montreat,” the releases said.

 

A planned merger between Montreat College and a Georgia university generated surprise and cautious optimism among some, while others affiliated with the Valley’s historic Presbyterian college called for greater transparency from the school’s decision makers.

Montreat officials announced July 29 that they were pursuing a merger with Point University, a Christian Church (Stone-Campbell Movement) affiliated school in West Point, Ga.

Montreat, which was founded nearly 100 years ago, would give up its name with the new entity being called Point University, officials said in a press release and on a Web site created for the merger. The schools would maintain separate campuses, and “‘Montreat’ will continue to be part of the name of the campus in Montreat,” the releases said.

The announcement comes after a period of budget and enrollment problems at the college, but still surprised some.

“I knew Montreat had struggled financially, but I was definitely in shock when I heard this,” rising senior Evan Lindsay Cain said. “Especially the fact that Montreat was changing their name, that part was actually kind of sad to hear.”

Cain said with only a year to go, she planned to return to Montreat, but “if I had a few years left, I think it could possibly effect me more.”

The decision is not official and must still be approved by both institutions’ boards of trustees and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. That could come as soon as June 2014.

Rumors have swirled for months among alumni critical of the idea of a merger. Officials, though, remained tight-lipped and after the announcement declined to comment beyond the release and Web site.

Alumni board president Willie Magnum said the body representing former students held an emergency meeting along with their foundation after learning of the planned merger.

Magnum called the college “a beacon of Christ-centered education” and called for more inclusion.

 

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