Vanderbilt University Sends $1.2MM Back to Donor to Remove “Confederate” Inscription

The Tennessee Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy Paid for the naming rights in 1933

Tamika Morrison
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Tamika Morrison

Editorial Director at RYSE INTERACTIVE
Lover of #Archetypes. #PRTherapist #Editor @RYSEConnected. #WanderlustDiaries Author of #1stLadyRules + Founder of @TMORRISONAGENCY #Closer2MyDreams #Part2
Tamika Morrison
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Vanderbilt University will remove the word “Confederate” from the name of one of its buildings on campus, the school announced Monday.


Confederate Memorial Hall, a residence building on the Nashville campus, will be renamed Memorial Hall.


The university will return $1.2 million to the Tennessee Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which donated money in 1933 to secure naming rights for the building. The $1.2 million will be financed by anonymous donors who gave money specifically for the purpose of removing “Confederate” from the building’s name.


“The residence hall bearing the inscription Confederate Memorial Hall has been a symbol of exclusion and a divisive contradiction of our hopes and dreams of being a truly great and inclusive university,” Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos said in a statement. “It spoke to a past of racial segregation, slavery, and the terrible conflict over the unrealized high ideals of our nation and our university, and looms over a present that continues to struggle to end the tragic effects of racial segregation and strife.”


There had been debates on renaming the Hall at Vanderbilt for about a decade, Zeppos told The Huffington Post in an interview Tuesday. That conversation continued in the last academic year through town halls as many other campuses engaged in similar debates.


In recent years, students nationwide have protested about racial unrest at their universities ― both before and after the well-documented demonstrations at the University of Missouri last fall. Often, the activism narrowed in on the names of certain buildings and schools, with students demanding that their institutions no longer honor racists of the past.


These changes are a direct result of much discussion and continued conflict occurring on American soil, about racism. We hope the actions of Vanderbilt and other universities around the country to confront and make changes to vestiges of hate set precedence.


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