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UO Board Decides To De-Name Deady Hall

University of Oregon

The University of Oregon Board of Trustees Wednesday voted unanimously to de-name Deady Hall. Matthew Deady was a pro-slavery delegate to the Oregon constitution.

The special meeting came after Trustee Andrew Colas earlier this month urged the board to remove Deady’s name from the campus’s oldest building. He pointed to how Deady called Black people no better than cattle or a piece of land.

UO President Michael Schill later recommended the building be renamed. Before the vote, Schill cited the national conversations about racial justice.

“It’s now apparent to me that as long as Matthew Deady’s name remains in a place of honor on our campus, our black students and other students of color will feel that they’re not valued—that this institution is not their institution.”

Before the vote, Andrew Colas said he’s thinking of the next generation.  

Credit Elizabeth Gabriel / KLCC
A recent protest took place outside Deady Hall on the UO campus, speakers talked about the racist history of Oregon.

“But we all have to remember the reason we do this work is to create a better opportunity for the next generation of youth that will come after us and I take it very seriously and I hope today’s decision marks a big step forward for the university of Oregon as far as our leadership.” 

Black student groups have previously called for Deady Hall to be de-named. In 2017, the board declined to do so. But, with the national focus on racial injustice, President Schill recommended making the change now.

The board approved a resolution to remove the name Deady and call the building University Hall until Schill recommends a new name in the next year.

Credit Rachael McDonald

A University spokesperson tells KLCC the UO will move quickly to remove the existing signage.

Copyright 2020 KLCC.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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