Trustee Urges Removing Pro-Slavery Name From UO’s Oldest Building

Jun 4, 2020

UPDATE: The Board of Trustees announced Friday it will schedule a special meeting to consider the request in the coming weeks.

A member of the University of Oregon Board of Trustees Thursday urged the board to change the name of Deady Hall. Deady was a pro-slavery delegate to the Oregon Constitution and a founder of the U of O.

Deady Hall on the UO campus.
Credit University of Oregon

At a virtual board meeting, UO Trustee Andrew Colas asked for an emergency vote to de-name Deady Hall. As the only black member of the board, he says the University has to take a stand, especially now.

“At this point, I have to call that we revisit denaming our landmark institution as Deady Hall. I cannot accept a person that would see me and believe that I am as good as a horse, cattle, or a piece of land. That wrecks me inside.” Said Colas.

Andrew Colas is a member of the UO Board of Trustees.
Credit University of Oregon

Colas was quoting Deady’s own words from historic documents. The board in 2017 declined to rename the UO’s oldest building, despite urging from members of the Black Student Task Force. Colas’s impromptu statement couldn’t be acted on immediately due to Oregon Public Meeting laws. But, Chair Chuck Lillis said the board would consider the request. 

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