Florida Tech or FIT?
by T.D. McCay, Ph.D.
Couple of interesting encounters lately made us rethink what we are called. Nearly everyone knows our real name is Florida Institute of Technology but that is a long name so usually we just say Florida Tech. Outside of the campus (and often on campus) people say FIT. So what should it be? On a golf course recently someone asked for what the FT on Bill Jurgens’ ball cap stood. When we said Florida Tech he said he never heard of it, where is it. We said over in Melbourne. He then said, “Oh you mean FIT.” We said yeah. Then listening to the FIT, FIT, FIT chant as the crew team was cheered on to a close second place at the Dad Vail Regatta, FIT seemed to have a really nice ring. So I guess we are both Florida Tech and FIT. It would be simpler to have just one “brand” but life is never simple.
Almost everyone I talk to in the surrounding community refers to us as FIT. Up until some point, we all seemed to refer to ourselves as FIT. Then, it appears there was a conflict, as the Fashion Institute of Technology in NY had also branded themselves as FIT. After that point, we seemed to move more towards the “Florida Tech” branding. Personally, I think the “FIT” branding is still more well-known, even amongst folks at other universities. I was in a meeting with faculty from universities across Florida recently and they were referring to us as FIT. I didn’t correct them, as I think it continues to have a nice ring to it! F-I-T does produce a nicer chant than FLOR-DA-TECH.
It depends on what image teh school wants to be branded with. When I hear “FIT,” I think of an institute of technology that is more about academic, technologic, and engineering excellence, such as MIT. However, when I hear “Florida Tech,” I think of an institute of technology that has focused less on engineering and become more generalized in the academics offered. Also, it brings to mind more schools that try to reach the spotlight through athletics versus being renowned for education, such as Georgia Tech.
Personally, I feel like the better fit for the direction the school is going is Florida Tech. Cantonese and the board are so focused on the football program. They have, over the years, expanded away from just being about the School of Engineering and opened up degree programs (or expanded them) that make the school more viable for more people (in an effort to make the school bigger…not necessarily better). I mean, really, a business school at Florida Tech? Not really something you would get in an “_IT.”
When I first moved here about a year ago, whenever I said FIT local people looked at me and were confused, and then I would say Florida Institute of Technology and they would say oh you mean Florida Tech, and I would say, “Sure!”
Maybe the solution is to rename the school: The Florida Technology Institute or The Florida Technological Institute, then you would be FTI (no longer confused with Fashion Institute or Technology) and could be Florida Tech as well. 🙂
According to me Florida tech sounds better, but in this modern world people only likes short terms like omg. lol, etc.