'It's time': TCC President Jim Murdaugh announces plans for a new name

Tallahassee Community College's campus.
Tallahassee Community College's campus.

In the coming months, Tallahassee Community College could have a new name.

TCC President Jim Murdaugh made the announcement Tuesday morning while speaking with radio show host Greg Tish on The Greg Tish Show — saying the college has already begun the name changing process.

While officials haven't landed on what the college would be called, Murdaugh says administrators may settle on a new name as early as November if approved by TCC’s Board of Trustees.

“I do think it’s time,” Murdaugh said on the broadcast. "I’ve been reluctant, because you will not find anybody more proud to be at Tallahassee Community College, but I understand that people may not want to have a bachelor’s degree hanging on their wall from a community college.”

Tallahassee Community College President Jim Murdaugh
Tallahassee Community College President Jim Murdaugh

TCC in the headlines: ‘Future ready’: Inside TCC's new charter school on campus, Tallahassee Collegiate Academy

The process of changing the name comes as TCC is one of only two colleges out of the 28 that make up the Florida College System to still have the term “community college” in its title, with the other being Hillsborough Community College in Tampa.

"The question about whether or not we should change our name has been happening ever since we launched our first bachelor’s degree in 2014," TCC’s Vice President for Communications and Chief of Staff Candice Grause said in an email to the Democrat.

During Murdaugh’s time on the talk show, he mentioned that he has been approached by many people in the community who asked him if he has thought about reviewing TCC’s name, especially after the college has recently added three additional bachelor’s degree programs to its offerings — a bachelor of applied science in business administration, a bachelor of science in elementary education and a bachelor of science in exceptional student education.

"Our impact is far greater today than ever before," Murdaugh said in a statement to the Tallahassee Democrat. "With new higher-level degrees, increased national recognition and more than 60% of our students now coming to us from outside of the service district, the time has come once again for us to assess the need for a change to our name."

Related news: TCC adds 3 new bachelor's degrees, putting the college in 'new territory'

TCC opened its doors in 1966 and was originally named Tallahassee Junior College, welcoming nearly 700 students in its first year.

The college officially became TCC in 1970 and has grown over the years, having an enrollment of over 11,000 in fall 2022.

"This is not a decision I take lightly," Murdaugh said. "While this institution has gone through a name change before, not to mention at least five different logos, the word ‘community’ is important to us. This is not about changing who we are; it’s about defining who we are and where we are going. It’s about momentum and relevance."

Tallahassee Community College's campus.
Tallahassee Community College's campus.

As the college’s second-ever name change is underway, Grause is spearheading the process. She put together a task force consisting of TCC faculty, staff, students and alumni that began meeting in June to do comprehensive research on the issue.

At the same time, the college is taking concerns into consideration, such as figuring out the best way to make the change without diminishing TCC’s brand along the way.

So far, TCC has issued a request for proposal (RFP) to see if a professional branding company is able to provide assistance with the new name and logo and will select a firm by the end of this month, according to Grause.

The college would also need approval from the Florida Legislature before changing its name.

While TCC's next Board of Trustees meeting will take place Aug. 21, which is the college’s first day of the fall semester, the task force's goal is to have a full report with recommendations by the board's meeting on Nov. 27.

Contact Tarah Jean at tjean@tallahassee.com or follow her on twitter @tarahjean_. 

Never miss a story: Subscribe to the Tallahassee Democrat using the link at the top of the page.

This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: New name coming for Tallahassee Community College, Murdaugh says