University of Richmond suspends building renaming decisions

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The University of Richmond Board of Trustees announced on Monday evening that they will be suspending recent decisions to not rename campus buildings named for a slave owner and a segregationist.

The buildings in question are Ryland Hall, which is undergoing construction, and Mitchell-Freeman Hall.

Ryland both enslaved people and hired them out to other for profit. Dr. Douglas Southhall Freeman — who is jointly honored with former slave John Mitchell, Jr. — was said to have glorified the Confederacy, promoted segregation and disenfranchisement of Blacks and advocated for eugenics.

Back in March, the Board of Trustees has issued a statement saying that removing the building names was “inconsistent with the pursuit of [their] educational mission.”

This decision drew backlash from University of Richmond students, including members of the Black Student Coalition.

On Monday, the Board of Trustees retracted that decision stating that their process and proposed decision had not achieved their objectives.

The statement, shared on Instagram, reads “The board is reviewing options for a broader, more inclusive process to determine how decisions are made about questions of renaming, and we expect to communicate our plans shortly.”

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