Campus Reckon with Racist Past

  • College leaders are reconsidering the names of campus buildings and monuments that memorialize white supremacists, in reaction to the current movement against racial injustice and the widespread protests across the country.
  • Many college leaders are quickly taking steps to remove the names of such controversial figures from buildings and to move the monuments off campuses:
    • Western Carolina University renamed its auditorium named after Clyde Hoey, a former North Carolina governor who opposed racial integration in the early 1900s.
    • Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina, renamed its administration building, previously named after Reverend Robert Armistead Burwell, who had “direct ties to slavery.”
    • Indiana University is rethinking the name of Jordan Hall, named after David Starr Jordan, a former zoology professor and university president during the late 1800s, due to his support for eugenics.
    • Clemson University in South Carolina renamed its Honors College named after John C. Calhoun, due to Calhoun’s legacy as a slave owner and proponent of slavery.
    • Princeton University took Woodrow Wilson’s name off its School of Public and International Affairs and one of its residential colleges, citing the former American president’s “segregationist policies.”
    • Silent Sam at Chapel Hill was turned over to a Confederate memorial group in December.
  • “While we have the attention, it’s important to push on these issues,” said Erika Wilson, a professor of law and chair of public policy at the University of North Carolina School of Law. “If we’re really going to enter a new phase on college campuses where all students are welcome, it’s time to reconsider the physical space.”