He put HOPE in students' pockets - but do they want to study in a building named after him?

The Student Learning Center will be rededicated today as the Zell B. Miller Learning Center, but many students were on the fence about whether or not they like the change.

"I thought the idea was for students to go learn there, and I just think it's more inclusive if you call it the student learning center - that's what it is," said Donna Wilcox, a graduate student from Orlando. "I think they're showing a trend of universities - if you have enough money you can get your name on anything."

The name change is "unnecessary at best," said Alex Gonzalez, a junior from Acworth. "I understand the need to dedicate buildings, but why this one?"

Gonzalez said he doesn't like the building's namesake, former Georgia governor and U.S. Senator Zell Miller, but "I respect him for some decisions he made."

A few of those decisions were to implement the HOPE Scholarship in 1993 during his eight-year term as governor from 1991 to 1999 and to increase state funds for higher education by about 60 percent. More than one million students have received HOPE funds.

But unlike Gonzalez, several students didn't even know who Miller was.

"I've heard of him, somebody important I guess," said Matt Schneidewind, a senior from Alpharetta.

Cathy Atienza, a senior from Macon, was on the right track.

"I just know he was a political figure in Georgia," she said.

In addition to his terms as governor and U.S. senator from 2000 to 2004, Miller is a University alumnus who earned both a bachelor's and master's in political science.

As governor, Miller allocated $1 billion in capital spending and almost $300 million for major renovations and repairs at University System institutions. He also allocated almost $150 million to establish technology-based learning and research at state colleges and universities.

The dedication ceremony will be at 2 p.m on the south side of the building. Both Miller and University President Michael Adams will speak.

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