The college I attend is named Dixie State University. Even though this is in the state of Utah and far from the Southern U.S., this region is called Dixie because it is in the southern part of the state, and it was originally settled to grow cotton. That is the history.
Presently, the name Dixie with all its connotations has some people upset. Some think that the name is offensive (to prospective students and prospective faculty) and should be changed and that keeping the name will hinder the college. Those who want to keep the name Dixie usually cite tradition, and there have been alumni and donors with great sway who are strongly opposed to the name change. This is also fact.
One more fact: there was a formal decision made (after a whoooole lot of debating and reasoning) recently to keep the name as “Dixie.”
This is what I think. If the name were changed it would help the prospects of the college even though there would be disgruntled community members. However, it is going to take so much effort to get the name changed right now that it is not worth the effort.
I had a car in the shop recently getting its transmission flushed and resealed. It was in for over a month, and by the time it was finished I was really glad to have it back. This car also has a faulty turn signal that I have to “blink” manually. I am glad to have my car back, and even though the mechanic could have fixed the turn signal with more time, it was not worth it to me to have him keep it any longer. I needed my car back.
I think the Dixie debate is similar to that. If everyone woke up one morning and the name “Dixie” were something else… I don’t think anything negative would come of it in the long run. But for now, this is going to be Dixie.