Arcadia University is located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, not far from where I grew up. It was a popular college choice for girls graduating from my high school. But that's not what this story is about. This institute for higher learning has only been called Arcadia University since 2001.
From its founding in 1872 right up until 2001, it was called Beaver College.
(pause for laughter)
Beaver College was a women's college.
(pause for more laughter)
Beaver College was a Methodist institution and began life as Beaver Female Seminary.
(pause for getting up off the floor and collecting yourselves)
As you might imagine, the jokes became unbearable. In 2001, the name change was attributed largely to the fact that the college was being granted university status and thus was given a clean start. However, as then-president Bette Landman noted:
"[The name] too often elicits ridicule in the form of derogatory remarks pertaining to the rodent, the TV show 'Leave It to Beaver' and the vulgar reference to the female anatomy."
Nice effort with the rodent and the Cleavers, Bette. But stop frontin'. We all know why you changed the name.
The last straw fell upon the camel's back with the advent of the internet. Students conducting their college search online often found the Beaver College website blocked by the more enthusiastic content filters, and enrollment suffered. (It does sound like a lesbian porn movie, doesn't it?) Furthermore, parents were angered when search engines returned some rather ribald results for "Beaver College".
Sadly, the name really did have to be changed. Robert Frost was right. Nothing gold can stay.