Bossip Video

UNC Trustees Vote Against KKK Named Building

The University of North Carolina’s trustees voted Thursday to rename the campus’ Saunders Hall. The building was originally dedicated to the memory of a man named William L. Saunders who was a prolific KKK leader.

Via Slate:

Per the school’s press release:

In 1920, University trustees named Saunders Hall to recognize William L. Saunders, an alumnus and trustee from 1874 to 1891. They cited his service as North Carolina’s Secretary of State from 1879 to 1891, his record as a compiler and editor of the Colonial records that became the foundation of the current State Archives of North Carolina, and his leadership of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).

The issue was brought to public attention by student activists, and the building will now be called Carolina Hall, which, while not the most creative choice, has the advantage of not commemorating “the chief organizer of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina and Chapel Hill.”

The decision, though, was not without controversy. Trustees also voted for a 16-year freeze on renaming any other buildings on campus in order to give the administration time to “develop a program for contextualized education on campus history.” The long freeze—and the trustees’ decision not to take activists’ suggestion to rename Saunders Hall after Zora Neale Hurston—has upset some students. What’s more, three trustees voted against renaming Saunders Hall at all. Those three trustees:

Peter Grauer, the chairman of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s financial-media megacompany Bloomberg LP

Haywood Cochrane, the chairman of a company called DARA Biosciences that appears to specialize in oncological pharmacology

Dwight Stone, who runs his family’s homebuilding company

Who do you think the building should be named after now?


Bossip Comment Policy
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.