University of Oregon to Rename Building Named for KKK Leader

Angela Bronner Helm
View of the University of Oregon Ducks campus in Eugene, Ore.
University of Oregon/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

As has been the case at GeorgetownYale and Vanderbilt, the University of Oregon has rebranded a dorm named after a man whose life was anti-black. In the case of Oregon, it was a Ku Klux Klan leader.

After a unanimous board vote on Thursday, university President Michael Schill announced that having a building named after classics professor Frederic Dunn was not consistent with the school’s values.


“It would be inconsistent with our values to have a building named after an exalted cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan,” Schill told the Register-Guard.

Frederic Dunn was a classics professor at the school in the 1920s and 1930s. The university’s Black Student Task Force demanded last November that Dunn’s name be stripped from the building.

The student body president thought the move was especially pressing given that 19-year-old Larnell Bruce was deliberately run over by a white supremacist in Gresham, Ore., on Aug. 10.

“The state of Oregon has a very ugly racist history that was deeply ingrained in our policies and laws,” Quinn Haaga told the board. “Unfortunately, as this horrible tragedy illustrates, these sentiments are still very alive and well in many parts of the state.”


Dunn Hall will tentatively be known as Cedar Hall following the board's decision.

The school is also considering renaming Deady Hall, named after Matthew Deady, who was pro-slavery. In the meantime, Schiller said, the university will invest in a $3 million Black Cultural Center, reports the New York Daily News.


Read more at the Register-Guard and the New York Daily News.

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