Friday, June 5, 2009

She goes WHERE?

I was having a conversation yesterday and the town of Beaverton, Oregon came up. Now, I'm nothing if not a 12-year-old boy, so naturally I was immediately reminded of this unbelievable but true tale.

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.

14 metawords:

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Ah, that's a sad story. Back in England the honourable institution Twatford College had to change its name, as did Massivecockthrob University. So sad, so sad.

Cora said...

Behold the power of slang.

red said...

Look at that cute little guy with his jaunty graduation hat. Awww...

Anonymous said...

Boys, I don't know...

Would you be happy if I told you I once lived on Beaver Road? Because I did. With three female housemates.


Trinity said...

This is an outrage. How dare they disregard the noble beaver in such a way. This is a slap in the face to all beavers everywhere.

I like to say beaver.

Anonymous said...

We used to ride in Beaver Valley. Ha!

Soda and Candy said...

This post makes me happy.

words...words...words... said...

IR: I tried to enroll, but apparently it's very difficult to gain admittance to Twatford.

Cora: Huh said "hold".

Red: I love the word "jaunty".

Veggie: Too bad you aren't in that living situation now. You could have a lucrative reality show. "The Girls Of Beaver Road".

Trinity: Beaver.

Kimmie: I don't know how to choose from the six thousand filthy remarks that just came to mind.

S&C: Beaver makes you happy. Check.

Soda and Candy said...

No, that's my [nature of relationship redacted to preserve anonymity] you're thinking of.

; )

Girl Interrupted said...

Hmm ... we don't really do beaver here

In any sense of the word :/

Rebecca said...

There are no commonly held derogatory ideas about the industrious beaver. Does "busy as a beaver" mean nothing? Bette Landman is a filthy liar.

Anonymous said...

Aww, you actually wrote about it!

Also, "Massivecockthrob University" made me laugh so hard I almost barfed up dinner.

Morgan the Muse said...

Beaver College?!? Really?!? Thats like having Richard Johnson Memorial Library, or something... Actually... I am going to have to see if there is a RJ Memorial Library, now. It sounds almost real.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I actually got a question in Trivial Pursuit once about Beaver College's name change.