University of Richmond changing names of six campus buildings linked to slavery, racism | Education


The University of Richmond will alter the names of 6 campus structures involved with slavery and racism, like two that led learners and faculty to protest previous year.

UR’s board of trustees voted unanimously to take out the names of Robert Ryland and Douglas Southall Freeman from an educational constructing and a dormitory named in their honor, it announced Monday. Ryland, who became the school’s very first president in 1840, owned slaves. Freeman, who led the school as a trustee from 1925 to 1950, advocated for segregation, eugenics and prohibiting interracial relationship as editor of The Richmond News Chief.

The board also made a decision to strip the titles of Jeter Hall, Thomas Corridor, Brunet Corridor and Puryear Hall — structures named for slave house owners.

The final decision will come 3 days soon after a faculty committee made recommendations as to what concepts UR ought to contemplate when naming structures. And it comes a 12 months after pupils and college held signals on campus and the school expressed a vote of no assurance in the university’s rector, Paul Queally.

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Mary Kelly Tate, a UR regulation professor and president of the college senate, called it an “institutionally historic announcement” and a “partial but vital move forward.”

The uproar commenced final yr when UR declared it would leave the names of Ryland and Freeman standing. Executing so furnished a “fuller historical narrative,” the university claimed.

Soon after months of protest, the university relented, asserting a clean get started and the development of a committee to evaluation the issue.


UR students and school marched final April to protest the school’s inaction in shifting the names of two buildings linked with slavery and racism. Katiana Isaac of Orange, N.J., rapped as contributors gathered for the march.

The committee solicited the belief of much more than 7,000 college stakeholders in a Gallup poll. Two-thirds of college and pupils responded that a person’s background of discrimination or oppression should factor into renaming.

Previous week, the committee presented 10 rules for how properties and other campus entities must be named. Between them: no building “should be named for a man or woman who immediately engaged in the trafficking and/or enslavement of many others.”

To ensure the school’s historical past is not swept below the rug, UR suggests it will just take steps to preserve the historic history of buildings, their eponyms, their contributions to the college and the explanation for their decommemoration.

“We are confident we can maintain and connect our record with no honoring by way of making names persons who enslaved other people or otherwise acted in conflict with the naming principles,” UR President Kevin Hallock and the board wrote in a statement Monday.

Freeman Hall will be renamed Home Hall No. 3. The dorm was briefly recognized as Mitchell-Freeman Corridor last yr, when UR additional the title of John Mitchell Jr., a former enslaved man who turned editor of the African American Richmond Earth newspaper. Freeman’s name also stands on a Henrico County substantial school.

Ryland Corridor, an educational creating erected in 1913, will be named the Humanities Setting up.

Jeter Corridor will be acknowledged as Residence Hall No. 1. The building was identified as “Dormitory No. 1” just before it was named in 1916 for Jeremiah Bell Jeter, a Baptist minister who helped identified the university and later on led the board of trustees.

Thomas Corridor will be regarded as Residence Hall No. 2, also harkening back to its authentic title. James Thomas Jr. was a founding trustee, treasurer and later on president of the board of trustees.

Sarah Brunet Memorial Hall will be renamed The Refectory — the building’s unique identify when it was UR’s very first dining facility. Brunet owned land that turned aspect of the campus.

Puryear will be renamed Fountain Corridor — a fountain stands in the sq. nearby. Bennet Puryear was a tutor, science professor and chairman of the school at Richmond College for about 50 yrs.

Hallock and the board acknowledged Monday that not all members of the UR community would support the identify modifications.

“And we acknowledge that the college would not exist nowadays devoid of the endeavours of some whose names have been removed,” they wrote. Queally and Hallock declined to be interviewed for this story.

It’s been three a long time considering the fact that UR learners 1st petitioned the university to carry out a school-broad dialogue on the names of Ryland and Freeman halls. The Black scholar coalition, school and other users of the community never ever stopped pushing for adjust, explained Anthony Polcari, a the latest graduate who was a university student system co-president final yr.

“It shows grassroots actions and protests — John Lewis termed it good trouble — I believe it is confirmed that operates,” Polcari explained.

By renaming the properties, UR is taking a new, extra contemporary route that will gain the university, reported Christopher Wiggins, a 2003 graduate.

“As alumni, we have been combating together with the students who are on campus presently, and I am overjoyed that this phase has last but not least been taken,” Wiggins stated.


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