Names of two Tar Heel pioneers selected for buildings


A university residence and the student affairs office building will bear the names of two pioneer Tar Heels: Hortense mcclinton and Henri owl, the University announced today.

On the recommendation of Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz, the University’s Board of Trustees honored McClinton and Owl with a vote on November 4 to add their names to two buildings whose names have been deleted in July 2020. McClinton Residence Hall replaces the old Aycock Residence Hall, while the Henry Owl Building is the new name for the old Carr Building.

“Both Mr. Owl and Professor McClinton are deeply rooted in the history of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Naming these buildings for each one sets them apart as people making an impact on our campus, ”said Board Chairman David L. Boliek Jr.

The black metal signs with the new names are ready to be installed.

Following today’s announcement, black metal signs bearing the new names will be installed in front of both buildings. New letters spelling “McClinton” will also be added to the dormitory, but engraving “Henry Owl” in the stone above the entrance to the student affairs building will take longer.

The names of these Tar Heel pioneers add diversity to the landscape and advance the first Caroline Next strategic initiative, Building our community together, by promoting membership in the entire university community.

“Hortense McClinton and Henry Owl were pioneers who left an indelible legacy in Carolina. They embody the values ​​that define our university, and giving these buildings their names marks an important step in building a university community where everyone feels they belong and can thrive, ”said Guskiewicz.

McClinton was the first black teacher hired in Carolina, accepting a position at the UNC School of Social Work in 1966 and retiring in 1984. At 103, she now lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. The committee that nominated her for the honor noted that McClinton “overcame the obstacles of a Jim Crow society and distinguished herself as a pioneer in the desegregation of the social work profession.” She was also “nationally commended for teaching the knowledge and modeling skills that prepare social workers to practice ‘without a racial and cultural basis,'” the committee wrote.

” I am very honored. I’m glad they do it before I die because I’m 103 years old, ”McClinton said. Growing up in an all-black community in Oklahoma and in a family that valued education shaped who she is. “My father went to college. My grandmother went to college. And now we are six generations in college. I appreciate everything that has happened in my life. I was a lucky girl.

Owl (1896-1980) was the first American Indian and the first person of color to enroll in University, as a graduate student of history in 1928. The nominating committee cited these achievements of Owl :

  • Author of a study on Cherokee history, told from a Cherokee perspective, which challenged the racist myths of white settler colonialism.
  • Fought courageously for the civil rights of the Cherokee Indians.
  • Served as an educator in Indian reserve schools and as an advisor to Indian veterans of WWII.

“It’s an honor he would have been very happy to receive. He was so committed to education that he would be very proud to have his name on a building there at UNC, ”said Owl’s daughter Gladys Cardiff of Seattle, Washington. “What this does for UNC is it makes Indigenous students across the country aware that they will be welcome there, that they will be valued in a special way. It’s the perfect building for him.

HONORIFIC NAMING PROCESS 1. The Honorary Names Registry received nominations online over a two-week period (March 26-April 9, 2021) 2. The Chancellor's Advisory Committee responsible for nominating academic facilities and units on basis for guidelines 3. Chancellor submits recommendation 4. Board of Trustees considers and votesRegistry names

The Chancellor’s selection of McClinton and Owl from a list provided by the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the Designation of University Facilities and Units is the final step in the university’s review of the names of its buildings.

The process includes the board’s decision in June 2020 to lift a 16-year moratorium on removing building names from campus and in July to establish a policy of deleting building names. Later in July 2020, the council voted to remove the names Charles Brantley Aycock, Julian Shakespeare Carr, Josephus Daniels and Thomas Ruffin Sr. campus buildings.

The name deletion came just months after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the University’s March 2020 pivot to e-learning. As the pandemic continued, the University had to contend with the ongoing health crisis, with faculty and students adapting to online and hybrid courses and staff working on campus and remotely to keep the business running. the university.

As Carolina prepared for a full-scale return to campus for fall 2021, administrators wanted to set a more welcoming tone with new building names that added diversity to the landscape.

To kickstart the name change process, Guskiewicz announced the launch of an online registry of honorary names and a call for nominations opened in March.

“We want these names to represent the values ​​of our campus and quickly become part of the fabric of our community,” said Guskiewicz. “I am grateful to the students, faculty and staff who have advocated for the change. I am convinced that we have many worthy laureates who have played a decisive role in our common history. “

During the nomination window, the Carolina community submitted over 1,100 names for review.

Guskiewicz then tasked the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Designating University Facilities and Units to narrow the list, giving more weight to the winners who are the best:

  • Represent the values ​​that define the University: excellence and an unwavering commitment to teaching, research and public service.
  • Have traditionally been under-represented in the Carolina landscape.
  • Have a demonstrated positive impact on the Carolina campus and community.

The committee selected the names of McClinton and Owl at the top of their list of winners. The Chancellor submitted these two names to the Board of Directors to replace two of the formerly unnamed buildings. The Trustees acted on the recommendation at the November 4 meeting.

BUILDING NAME DELETION PROCESS 1. Chancellor receives written request 2. Commission on History, Race and Way Forward investigates and recommends 3. Chancellor's committee to review Commission resolution history reviews and advises 4. Chancellor submits recommendation 5. Board reviews and votesOngoing process

Meanwhile, the Commission on History, Race and the Way Forward continues to research the backgrounds of other historical figures whose names may be considered for removal in the future.

An ad hoc committee chosen by the Chancellor (Chancellor’s Committee to Review History Commission Resolution) is reviewing the commission’s most recent recommendation, a list of the 10 historical figures of the University with ties to white supremacy, Confederation, and slavery.

The committee met on several occasions to discuss the historical evidence presented by the commission in the form of individual files. Board policy that guides their discussion requires them to consider “scholarly historical evidence” of serious violations of federal or state law or “disgusting behavior”. Mitigating factors include “particularly notable” contributions to the University by someone whose views were “conventional at the time” or significant moderation of the person’s offensive views and behavior.

After reviewing the documents, the committee will recommend to the Chancellor which names its members believe should be removed. The Chancellor will review these recommendations and then forward his recommendations to the Trustees, who will make the final decision on any name deletion.


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