UNC-Chapel Hill to Rename Building Named for KKK Leader

UNC-Chapel Hill to Rename Building Named for KKK Leader
Suada Kolovic

After nearly 100 years, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will rename Saunders Hall – named for a 19th-century Ku Klux Klan leader – to Carolina Hall. All together now: It’s about time!

Following years of activism by students, UNC-Chapel Hill announced the name change on Thursday. "These efforts to curate the campus and teach the past with greater context will present future generations with a more accurate, complete and accessible understanding of Carolina's history," said Dr. Lowry Caudill, chairman of the board of trustees. Curious as to why the building was named after Saunders in the first place? He was an alum of the UNC class of 1854 and served as North Carolina's Secretary of State from 1879 to 1891; when the building was named for Saunders in 1920, trustees cited his leadership in the KKK as one of his credentials. (In their announcement on Thursday, the current trustees said their predecessors were wrong to have used that as a qualification.)

Share your thoughts on UNC-Chapel Hill's decision to finally rename the building in the comments section.

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