Oregon State University will hold a series of meetings in September and October to evaluate four campus buildings that some students have claimed are named after racists.
The buildings in question are:
• Arnold Dining Center, which is named for a former Confederate soldier who became an OSU president.
• Avery Lodge, named for Joseph Avery, a Corvallis founder who the university said owned a pro-slavery newspaper.
• Benton Hall, which the university said was named for Benton County, which itself was named for white supremacist U.S. Sen. Thomas Hart Benton.
• Gill Coliseum, named for longtime basketball coach Amory “Slats” Gill, who student protesters have claimed refused to integrate his team. (A university historian has said there is no evidence Gill refused to integrate, but he only had one black player for part of a season.)
The evaluations follow a year of work by a committee aimed at developing a process to examine building names.
In a message sent to the university community Wednesday, President Ed Ray said the Architectural Naming Committee will do a historical review of the buildings and their namesakes and gather community input on the names and make a recommendation about whether to change the names. Ray said he will announce a decision on the name changes Nov. 27.
The university has scheduled six public meetings on the name evaluation process.
• Community engagement session, 5:30 p.m., Sept. 28 in the Memorial Union Horizon Room.
• Community engagement session, noon, Oct. 2.
• Arnold Dining Center discussion, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 11, Memorial Union Ballroom.
• Avery Lodge discussion, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 16, Memorial Union Ballroom.
• Benton Hall discussion, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 17, Memorial Union Ballroom.
• Gill Coliseum discussion, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 19, Memorial Union Ballroom.
Visit http://leadership.oregonstate.edu/building-and-place-names for more information about the building names and process for changing them.