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UNC-Chapel Hill to Rename Building Named for KKK Leader


May 29, 2015
by 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!

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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Lola I.  on  6/3/2015 7:18:15 AM commented:

I went to UNC Chapel Hill for undergrad and the school was exquisite. UNC Chapel Hill supersedes every university in the United States as far as quality of diversity and how great of a liberal arts education you get here. Unc Chapel Hill is a very tough institution with many of their classes grading you on a curve; it really is survival of the fittest. As a black student, it was very disheartening to ever come across ignorant people who tried to say that I got into UNC because of affirmative action when my SAT scores were through the roof and I was top 10 percentile of my high school. I am so happy to hear that the officials at UNC Chapel Hill are so intelligent and moved forward with taking away the name of someone who clearly didn't represent racial harmony. We definitely want racial peace in our beloved country and naming a building on our campus after a KKK member does not promote that. UNC Chapel Hill's Is amazing and now I am even more proud of my alma mater. Go Tar Heels!

Kaylee P.  on  6/1/2015 11:18:16 PM commented:

It is astonishing that students willingly laid aside their personal lives in order to create a powerful movement against this name. It is great to hear of students fighting for what they believe in; without these students, this adjustment might have not ever been made.

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