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Board on Geographic Names rules against Mt. W&M

  • Mountain magnificence
    Mountain magnificence  This is the Colorado mountain university officials and friends asked the USBGN to reconsider naming Mount William & Mary. The USBGN recently declined.  Courtesy Ken Kambis
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The United States Board on Geographic Names recently ruled not to reconsider its 2001 decision not to name a sub-peak of Mt. Elbert in Colorado after William & Mary.

Ken Kambis, a professor of kinesiology and health sciences, assisted Colorado resident Marilyn Brown, who was made an honorary alumna of the university in 2007, in preparing an application to the USBGN that was filed by Brown on Jan. 7.

The new application cited the fact that the Louisiana Purchase, orchestrated by alumni Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, included much of what is today Colorado, including the area where Mt. Elbert stands.

Kambis also has conducted extensive high-altitude research on the mountain, first climbing the unnamed geographic feature in 1998. He was accompanied by Jack Borgenicht, an octogenarian New Jersey businessman, now deceased, for whom the Borgenicht Altitude Physiology Research Facility in W&M’s Adair Hall is named.

Kambis was understandably disappointed in the outcome.

“We accept this result and will, of course, look forward to continuing our present and planned work in Colorado,” he said. “Our faculty conducts high altitude research and our geology students enjoy extraordinary opportunities to study unique aspects of the Colorado terrain.

“We continue to hope that William & Mary and Colorado can go forward together, bound by our common histories and a geographic feature named to honor that association.”