Reneau University chosen as MUW's new name

Mississippi University for Women in Columbus could soon be officially known as Reneau University.

MUW President Claudia Limbert announced her choice on Monday. The name change also has to be approved by a majority of the 12-member state College Board, and the board's recommendation will be forwarded to the 174-member state Legislature in January.

The name Limbert selected is in honor of Sallie Eola Reneau.

In 1856, the outspoken 18-year-old Reneau wrote to Mississippi Gov. John J. McRae and urged the state to establish a public female college to educate "the indigent and the opulent."

Legislators endorsed her plan, but didn't put any money into it for decades. The school finally opened in October 1885.