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

Deborah K. Vick


The College of Richmond will adjust the names of 6 campus structures related with slavery and racism, which includes two that led college students and college to protest previous yr.

UR’s board of trustees voted unanimously to clear away the names of Robert Ryland and Douglas Southall Freeman from an academic constructing and a dormitory named in their honor, it introduced Monday. Ryland, who turned the school’s to start with president in 1840, owned slaves. Freeman, who led the faculty 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 determined to strip the titles of Jeter Hall, Thomas Hall, Brunet Corridor and Puryear Corridor — structures named for slave proprietors.

The conclusion arrives 3 times just after a faculty committee manufactured tips as to what concepts UR ought to take into account when naming structures. And it arrives a 12 months soon after pupils and faculty held indications on campus and the school expressed a vote of no confidence in the university’s rector, Paul Queally.

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Mary Kelly Tate, a UR legislation professor and president of the college senate, identified as it an “institutionally historic announcement” and a “partial but important stage forward.”

The uproar started previous year when UR introduced it would leave the names of Ryland and Freeman standing. Undertaking so supplied a “fuller historic narrative,” the school reported.

Right after weeks of protest, the university relented, asserting a clean begin and the formation of a committee to overview the subject.


UR learners and college marched past April to protest the school’s inaction in altering the names of two structures linked with slavery and racism. Katiana Isaac of Orange, N.J., rapped as individuals collected for the march.

The committee solicited the viewpoint of extra than 7,000 college stakeholders in a Gallup poll. Two-thirds of school and pupils responded that a person’s history of discrimination or oppression must element into renaming.

Final week, the committee presented 10 concepts for how structures and other campus entities should be named. Amid them: no building “should be named for a person who immediately engaged in the trafficking and/or enslavement of some others.”

To ensure the school’s record is not swept beneath the rug, UR states it will consider actions to protect the historical record of buildings, their eponyms, their contributions to the college and the purpose for their decommemoration.

“We are confident we can protect and communicate our record without honoring as a result of making names folks who enslaved other people or in any other case acted in conflict with the naming principles,” UR President Kevin Hallock and the board wrote in a statement Monday.

Freeman Corridor will be renamed Home Hall No. 3. The dorm was briefly recognised as Mitchell-Freeman Corridor final calendar year, when UR added the name of John Mitchell Jr., a former enslaved gentleman who turned editor of the African American Richmond World newspaper. Freeman’s identify also stands on a Henrico County higher faculty.

Ryland Hall, an academic developing erected in 1913, will be termed the Humanities Setting up.

Jeter Corridor will be regarded as Home Hall No. 1. The making was referred to as “Dormitory No. 1” in advance of it was named in 1916 for Jeremiah Bell Jeter, a Baptist minister who assisted discovered the university and afterwards led the board of trustees.

Thomas Corridor will be known as Home Corridor No. 2, also harkening back again to its primary title. James Thomas Jr. was a founding trustee, treasurer and later president of the board of trustees.

Sarah Brunet Memorial Hall will be renamed The Refectory — the building’s primary name when it was UR’s initially eating facility. Brunet owned land that grew to become section of the campus.

Puryear will be renamed Fountain Corridor — a fountain stands in the square close by. Bennet Puryear was a tutor, science professor and chairman of the college at Richmond Higher education for about 50 a long time.

Hallock and the board acknowledged Monday that not all members of the UR group would help the identify improvements.

“And we acknowledge that the college would not exist today without the need of the endeavours of some whose names have been removed,” they wrote. Queally and Hallock declined to be interviewed for this tale.

It’s been a few several years considering that UR students first petitioned the university to conduct a university-extensive dialogue on the names of Ryland and Freeman halls. The Black university student coalition, school and other members of the local community by no means stopped pushing for modify, reported Anthony Polcari, a the latest graduate who was a university student human body co-president final 12 months.

“It shows grassroots movements and protests — John Lewis identified as it great issues — I think it is proven that functions,” Polcari said.

By renaming the structures, UR is using a new, a lot more contemporary path that will profit the university, explained Christopher Wiggins, a 2003 graduate.

“As alumni, we have been combating alongside the students who are on campus now, and I am overjoyed that this stage has last but not least been taken,” Wiggins claimed.


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