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VCU Will Rename Buildings Commemorating The Confederacy

Statue toppled
A statue to Confederate General W.C. Wickham that was torn down in June will not be replaced. (Photo: Coleman Jennings/VPM News)

The VCU Board of Visitors has voted to rename a slate of buildings on campus, named after Confederate leaders and supporters.

Friday’s vote followed years of research and community engagement, VCU said. President Michael Rao initially put together a working group in 2017 to audit all Confederate statues and symbols at VCU. That move came after the Unite The Right rally that brought hundreds of white supremacists to Charlottesville.

In a statement, Rao said the board’s historic vote would allow the university to be a more welcoming place to everyone.

“We’ve learned a lot from this process, and it is clear that the values represented by these namings and symbols run counter to the values to which we are committed — inclusion, equity and diversity,” he said. “The symbols of the Confederacy have come to impede our mission to serve all and that’s why I have recommended we no longer honor those symbols.”

On the list of buildings to be renamed are McGuire Hall, Baruch Auditorium, the Ginter House, the Jefferson Davis Memorial Chapel, the Tompkins-McCaw Library and the Wood Memorial Building. The resolution approved by VCU’s Board of Visitors also calls on the university to continue to work with the City of Richmond in relocating four statues that have already been removed: the Fitzhugh Lee and W.C. Wickham monuments, the Joseph Bryan statue and the Howitzer statue. 

The board also approved a separate resolution on Friday removing the “Harrison” name from the Harrison Building, which houses the Department of African American Studies. The department will be allowed to select a new name for the building.