Philadelphia University Becomes Thomas Jefferson University

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When the merger takes hold on July 1st, Philadelphia University will be renamed Thomas Jefferson University.

The health sciences university and the design, architecture, and fashion school initially began their higher-ed hookup with a serendipitous encounter in 2015, recalls the president of Thomas Jefferson University, Stephen Klasko.

“I’m an obstetrician. This might be the coolest baby that I’ve ever delivered,” he said.

The president of Philadelphia University, Stephen Spinelli, not only hopes to increase their national profile, but to embrace change.

“Are we educating our students to deal with that world? Not only to deal with it, but to thrive in it. Not only to thrive in it, but to lead in it,” Spinelli said.

img 7007 Philadelphia University Becomes Thomas Jefferson University

Phil the Ram. (credit: Steve Tawa)

The combination will double the new university’s enrollment to about 7,500 students.

As officials from both schools revealed the new logo, they welcomed “Phil the Ram,” the mascot for Philly U, now wearing a Jefferson Rams uniform. They point out research showed Jefferson had a “stronger brand” appeal.

But what about athletics? Jefferson hasn’t had an intercollegiate team since the 1930’s. New sports uniforms are on order, and they’ll be called the Rams, in a nod to the Philly U sports teams.

img 6999 Philadelphia University Becomes Thomas Jefferson University

Coach Magee with Ed Rendell. (credit: Steve Tawa)

For legendary Philly U basketball coach Herb Magee, it’s a fourth name change for him since he graduated from the school in 1963. When he enrolled, it was Philadelphia Textile Institute, then Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, and Philly U in 1999.

He became head coach in 1967, and just recently finished his 50th season.

“I know one thing though, my first victory next year, I will become the all-time leading wins coach in the history of Jefferson University,” he said.

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