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U of Richmond to reevaluate decision on renaming buildings

April 7, 2021 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The University of Richmond’s board of trustees has suspended its decision to leave names associated with racism on two campus buildings.

The Richmond Times Dispatch reported Monday that the board is reviewing options for a broader and more inclusive process. The board said it expects to share its plans soon.

The university announced in February that it would not change the names of two buildings. A dorm was named for Douglas Southall Freeman, a university trustee and rector from 1925 to 1950. He had supported segregation, white supremacy and eugenics.

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The university had changed the building’s name earlier this year to Mitchell-Freeman Hall. It added the name of John Mitchell Jr., a former enslaved man who became editor of the Richmond Planet newspaper.

Another building is named for Robert Ryland. He was instrumental in founding what is now the University of Richmond and was the school’s first president. He owned at least seven slaves.

The board’s decision followed complaints from students and faculty.