After renaming its law school after late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, George Mason University renamed it again after unintentionally sparking a storm of delightfully immature jokes about the resulting acronym, "ASSoL."
The school first announced it would change the law school’s name to The Antonin Scalia School of Law on March 31 to honor the court’s revered and reviled conservative, who died on Feb. 13 at the age of 79. The Fairfax, Virginia-based school decided to revise the moniker in order to claim $20 million from an anonymous donor who called for the change as part of the deal. Billionaire conservative activist Charles Koch donated another $10 million to the high-caliber law school known for its conservative legal curriculum.
But the school’s Board of Visitors, who approved the initial change, either forgot to eyeball the acronym, or overestimated the maturity of the public.
The jokes and jabs were plentiful, as a Twitter search for #ASSoL or #ASSLaw can show.
The official name is still "The Antonin Scalia School of Law," but the website and marketing material is now “The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University," the Wall Street Journal was first to note.
The school addressed the switch 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," the letter said.
The question now is whether Scalia, once regarded the funniest justice, would have appreciated the flap, even though he was the butt of the joke.