George Mason University announced at the end of March that it would rename its law school in honor of the late United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away in February. The new name for the revered Virginia institution, named for the founding father whose biggest claim to fame was his refusal to sign the Constitution, would be the Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University. Or as Esquire and social media were quick to point out, “ASSL” — or to phrase it another way, “ASSLaw.” Hence why GMU has decided to rename its law school once again.
As CNN points out, the initial decision to adorn the GMU law school with Scalia’s name came as the result of a $30 million donation made anonymously to the university on March 31. The GMU Board of Visitors approved the donation and the name change without issue, according to the Wall Street Journal, but now it seems school leaders have become wise to the unfortunate acronym that results.
Henry N. Butler, the dean of the GMU School of Law, addressed the issue in a letter to students and alumni:
“The name initially announced — The Antonin Scalia School of Law — has caused some acronym controversy on social media. The Antonin Scalia Law School is a logical substitute. We anticipate the naming will be effective on July 1, 2016 pending final approval by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).”
With the “logical substitute” suggested, the new Antonin Scalia Law School won’t suffer the same fate as its immediate predecessor with the acronym “ASLS.” Sure, someone is bound to work a bit too hard to come up with something that renders the new-new name problematic, but it won’t be anywhere near as bad as “ASSLaw.”