LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada State University is celebrating its name change on Wednesday night with a celebration in the Henderson campus plaza.

“This really is just a big thank you to everyone who helped make this university name change happen,” said Erin Keller, NSU Vice President of Advancement.

Nevada State officially became Nevada State University on July 1 after exploring a name change since 2019. The Nevada State Legislature passed the name change into law this year.

College officials say the name change will help increase enrollment. The university reports this year’s freshman class is the largest in school history, with a 20% jump from last year.

“It truly is just matching our name to our mission, which is to provide four-year degrees and master’s programs that makes sense in our community and our state,” Keller said.

The fall semester comes with new programs for future educators, and a free shuttle service.

With many of the students transferring from the College of Southern Nevada to Nevada State, staff say the name change will help clear up confusion among employers and hopefully lead to higher pay for graduates.

“The weight of having ‘university’ helps show an elevation or growth in the student’s educational career and that’s really the piece that’s been important for us, is to show that elevation,” Keller said.

Though there was concern from other local education institutions that the name change may have a ripple effect on state education institutions, Keller told 8 News Now that she didn’t believe that would be the case.

Going from college to university will not have an impact on the funding formula, admission standards, or the institution’s mission, according to administrators.

“We’re in a teaching-focused tier, so our goal is to educate students to get a four-year degree or a master’s degree and then put them in our work force both locally and statewide,” Keller said.

Students can expect to see the name change on transcripts and diplomas this school year. Alumni can reach out to the school to get university on their diplomas.

You can celebrate the elevation with staff, students, and the community at the plaza on the Henderson campus at 6 p.m. The free event is open to the public and will include several speeches, including one by Congresswoman Susie Lee, Nevada State University President DeRionne Pollard, and former NSU President Bart Patterson. Empire Records is expected to perform. The first 500 people will receive free food.

To RSVP, visit Nevada State’s website.