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

Two-thirds of faculty and students responded in a survey that a person’s history of discrimination or oppression should factor into renaming.

The University of Richmond will change the names of six campus buildings associated with slavery and racism, including two that led students and faculty to protest last year.

UR’s board of trustees voted unanimously to remove the names of Robert Ryland and Douglas Southall Freeman from an academic building and a dormitory named in their honor, it announced Monday. Ryland, who became the school’s 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 marriage as editor of The Richmond News Leader.

The board also decided to strip the titles of Jeter Hall, Thomas Hall, Brunet Hall and Puryear Hall — buildings named for slave owners.

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