UofSC commission focused on renaming buildings releases interim report

UofSC commission focused on renaming buildings releases interim report
The report lists 16 buildings and campus area they will focus on renaming or contextualizing. (Source: WIS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A committee created to examine the historical nature of building names on the campus of the University of South Carolina, as well as their ties to racism, has delivered an interim report to President Bob Caslen.

The UofSC Presidential Commission on University History expects to have a finished report with recommendations ready in July.

For now, the Feb. 26, 2021 report shows the commission’s work so far.

The commission said it plans to focus on the following buildings and campus locations, based on student, faculty and community input:

  • Barnwell College
  • Blatt PE Center
  • Gressette Room in Harper College
  • Hollings Library
  • Lieber College
  • Longstreet Theater
  • Maxcy College
  • McMaster College
  • Preston Residential College
  • Robert E. Lee Tree
  • Marion J. Sims Residence Hall
  • Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center
  • Thomas Cooper Library
  • Thornwell College
  • Wade Hampton College
  • Woodrow College

The commission said any suggestions to rename those areas or buildings, or name future buildings, will “fully consider and prioritize” a list of names provided to Caslen by UofSC Board of Trustees Chairman, Dr. C. Dorn Smith.

He listed Richard Greener, Judge Ernest Finney, Robert Anderson, James Solomon, and Dr. Henrie Monteith Treadwell and suggested the issue was “past due.”

The commission said its final report, expected around July 1, will provide, “at a minimum”:

  • Analysis of the names of concern, listed above, and with respect to the approved criteria
  • Advice for the President to consider in developing any recommendations to the Board of Trustees
  • Recommendations for additional investment of the University in the areas of university history, diversity, equity and inclusion

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With the release of the interim report, commission co-chairs Valinda Littlefield, Harris Pastides and Elizabeth West provided the following statement:

“On behalf of the Commission, we wish to thank all of those who assisted in the development of this interim report. The report, which was delivered to President Bob Caslen today (Friday, Feb. 26, 2021), will help guide our future work examining the names on buildings and landscape across the Columbia campus. This is an important function of the Commission, but is only one part of our charge to more thoroughly contextualize the university and its relationship with the people of South Carolina. As we have said, this is difficult work encompassing more than 200 years of a complex and sometimes painful history. These conversations are essential to truly capture the rich, diverse and evolving history of our great university. We look forward to continued public input as we continue this important work.”

To read the entire report, click or tap here.

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