North Carolina campuses rename buildings, remove statues with racist ties

know about North Carolina campuses rename buildings, remove statues with racist ties

As North Carolina colleges and universities confront their historical ties to racism and white supremacy, many are taking steps to make their campuses feel safer for students of color.

Schools renamed academic buildings and dormitories, removed statues and changed lyrics to songs honoring racist people or ideas that celebrate the Confederacy. Colleges have made changes in recent years, but the Black Lives Matter and racial justice protests in the summer of 2020 added pressure and a sense of urgency to their efforts.

Here is a list of North Carolina colleges and universities that have taken steps to address these issues on campus.

Sign installer Roger Phillips of Broach Custom Signs in Wendell, NC carefully places the second and final urethane panel in place for Carolina Hall’s new nameplate on Thursday afternoon, August 13, 2015 covering the old named after Saunders Hall on the UNC-CH campus. After an outcry over the personal history of 19th-century UNC alumnus William L. Saunders, the university recently decided to change the name to Carolina Hall, removing all vestiges of the old name. harry lynch [email protected]

UNC-Chapel Hill

In 2015, UNC-Chapel Hill trustees voted to remove William Saunders’ name from a campus building. Saunders was a member of the university’s board of trustees and a leader of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina during the 19th century. The trustees voted to change the building’s name to Carolina Hall.

In voting to remove the Saunders name from the building, the trustees also approved a 16-year moratorium on future building name changes. The moratorium was in place until 2020, when the trustees lifted it.

In December 2021, university administrators voted to rename two campus buildings that previously had names that “honored people linked to white supremacy and racism,” The News & Observer reported. Aycock Residence Hall, formerly named for former North Carolina Governor and white supremacist Charles B. Aycock, was renamed McClinton Residence Hall, in honor of Hortense McClinton, the first black female professor hired at the university. The university’s Carr Building, named for the university trustee who made a racist speech at the unveiling of the Silent Sam Confederate statue on campus in 1913, was renamed Henry Owl, a Cherokee who became the first person of color to enroll in college in 1928.

“Silent Sam,” a Confederate statue, stood on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus from its opening in 1913 until it was toppled by protesters in 2018. Once the statue was toppled, questions arose about what to do with it, as state law prohibited the statue from being removed.

In December 2018, the university suggested building a $5 million education center on campus to house the statue, but the UNC System Board of Governors rejected the recommendation. In January 2019, when he announced his resignation, Chancellor Carol Folt Authorized the base of the pedestal and the commemorative plaques of the monument must be removed intact.

In November 2019, the university negotiated a $2.5 million deal with the Sons of Confederate Veterans to take and keep the statue off campus, The N&O reported, but a judge later overturned the controversial deal.

North Carolina State University

Trustees at North Carolina State University voted in 2020 to remove from the campus building the name of Josephus Daniels, a white supremacist and former editor of the News & Observer who used the newspaper to incite fear in black residents and political leaders.

“Daniels also helped orchestrate the 1898 Wilmington race riot that brought down an elected mixed-race government and resulted in the deaths of at least 60 black residents,” reported The N&O.

North Carolina State Chancellor Randy Woodson recommended at the time that the building not be renamed immediately, The N&O reported.

Earlier this year, in February 2022, university administrators voted to remove the word “Dixie” from the school’s alma mater. NC State students, faculty, staff, and alumni expressed concern that the term, which is tied to the Confederacy because it was an anthem for the Confederate military, was “contrary to NC State’s vision, values, and goals.” The N&O reported. The word was replaced with the word “southerner” in the first line of the song.

duke university

Duke University trustees voted in 2018 to remove Julian Carr’s name from a building on campus. In 1890, Carr, a white supremacist, gave the school 62 acres of land to develop and had previously been a council member. of administration from Trinity College, which later became Duke.

Before Carr’s 2018 decision, the university had previously removed a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from Duke Chapel, The N&O reported at the time.

The Duke University Board of Trustees voted on December 1, 2018, to change the name of the Carr Building to the Classroom Building. duke university

North Carolina Central University

The trustees of North Carolina Central University, a historically black university in Durham, voted in 2019 to remove from the school’s main administration building the name of former North Carolina Governor Clyde Hoey, who “supported a segregated educational system.” The N&O reported. The building was renamed the James E. Shepard Administration Building, in honor of the university’s founder.

East Carolina University

In 2015, East Carolina University Greenville board members voted to remove the name of former North Carolina Governor Charles B. Aycock, who “advocated white supremacist views,” from a campus dormitory. The N&O reported. The N&O reported at the time that Aycock’s name would still be preserved in Heritage Hall, “a soon-to-be-designated location in another building on campus, where founders and other supporters of the university will be recognized.”

“We believe that Aycock’s legacy to education will be best represented in the general history of ECU at Heritage Hall…In this venue, Aycock and others can be recognized with a proper explanation of their contribution and connection to the history of the college”. he told a statement from university administrators at the time. The bedroom originally named Aycock it was renamed Legacy Hall in 2016.

William Peace University

In 2022, William Peace University, a private university in Raleigh, removed a campus statue of its namesake. A campus task force discovered that William Peace was a slave owner and believed his presence “could create a divisive environment on campus.”

Meredith College

In 2022, Meredith College removed James Yadkin Joyner’s name and portrait from an academic building as part of an anti-racism initiative. Joyner served as a trustee at Meredith for decades and was “an advocate for white supremacy and unequal funding of schools based on race,” according to the university.

University of Louisburg

A Confederate monument stood outside the predominantly Black Louisburg College, with students passing by regularly, until the city of Louisburg moved it into storage in 2020. The monument was later placed in nearby Oakwood Cemetery, where the Confederates are buried. Confederate soldiers, The N&O reported.

Did we miss one? Let us know.

This story will be updated as schools continue to make these changes.

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Kate Murphy covers higher education for The News & Observer. Previously, she covered higher education for the Cincinnati Enquirer on the Business and Investigation Team and USA Today Network. Her work has won state awards in Ohio and Kentucky and she was recently named a 2019 Education Writers Association finalist for digital storytelling.
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Korie Dean is a reporter for The News & Observer’s service journalism team. She is a graduate of the UNC-Chapel Hill Hussman School of Journalism and Media and has lived her entire life in North Carolina.

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