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Mary Baldwin Alumnae Group Changes Name Over Trademark

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STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) -

The debate over the decision by Mary Baldwin University to enroll male students in a new residential program is bringing the school's trademark name into the spotlight.

Even though some alumnae are fighting the program, the university says everything is already etched in stone and it plans to have the male residential halls up and running in August.

Men have been taking classes at Mary Baldwin since the 1970’s, but have never lived on campus.

A group of alumnae called Boldly Lead isn't for the university's new deal. The group is an independent association that is raising funds to support a long-term commitment to women's education at Mary Baldwin.

The group changed its name from Boldly Baldwin Incorporated to boldly lead because of a trademark issue with the university.

In 2012, Boldly Baldwin became the university's brand name. School officials said that name showed confusion and put the university at risk when the alumnae used it for their own purpose.

The university says it just wants all groups to work together.

“We still have the college for women, the Mary Baldwin College for Women, and that will still be our historic school here on campus and so we hope that the subset of alumnae who want to continue to support women's education and women’s higher education that we have the ability to bring them into the fold to work with us,” said Karen Bailey-Chapman of Mary Baldwin University.

Bold Lead tells NBC29, “We want to work with MBC. It is our mission to serve our alma mater."

The group feels that letting males live on campus signals the end of Mary Baldwin as a women's college.

The school already has 600 applications for its new co-educational living learning community.

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