Centenary College is now Centenary University! The change might surprise some, but Centenary has been working at a university level for several years, so it’s a fitting adjustment. It’s also not the first time Centenary has gone through a name change. In fact, the school has had 5 different names over the years!
The school’s first name was Centenary Collegiate Institute. The school was named in 1866, the centennial year of American Methodism. It was originally established as a co-educational college preparatory institution and accepted boys and girls ages 13 and up. In 1910 the school became an all-girls’ school. Educational trends at the time suggested that each sex did better in academics at a single gender school, and a surplus of all-boys’ schools prompted C.C.I. to become all-girls.
In 1929 the Institute created Centenary Junior College, a two-year degree program, in addition to the offerings of Centenary Collegiate Institute. By 1940 C.J.C. was doing so well that the Institute was discontinued, and the school was known solely as Centenary Junior College.
In 1956 Centenary Junior College followed the trend once more in dropping the word ‘junior’ from its title [Junior colleges, the argument went, were not ‘junior’ to anything, and were as legitimate as other types of schools. Dropping the word ‘junior’ only reflected their educational worth]. Centenary Junior College became Centenary College for Women.
Between 1977 and 1978, the institution became Centenary College and began admitting male students to its continuing education program. Soon the school expanded its four-year programs and admitted male students to its traditional programs.
Centenary College’s continued expansion of programs and inclusion of graduate degree programs created the need for another name change, and now the school is Centenary University!