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What’s in a name?

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Next year marks the centennial for the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, which for most of its history has been an anchor along Independence Avenue.

That continuity, however, has not extended to the name of the institution, which began downtown as the Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery.

The college became the Kansas City College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1970 and changed again a decade later to the University of Health Sciences.

It took on its current name in 2004.

And now, though the university has not officially changed its name, it has rebranded the institution as Kansas City University, or KCU, for short. University President Dr. Marc Hahn called it a “brand rejuvenation” when unveiling the shortened version, along with a new logo and seal, to the faculty and staff in January.

“The primary objective … has been to create a new brand identity that reflects the importance of a globally recognized medical university and also has ties back to the university’s heritage,” according to an article in the spring issue of the university’s magazine.

Adoption of the new acronym came after a survey of prospective students, donors, alumni and other groups found weak brand recognition among some constituent groups, according to the article.

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