The University Of Oregon Board Of Trustees Friday voted unanimously to re-name a building on campus after the first African American to graduate from its school of Architecture.
DeNorval Unthank Junior grew up in Portland and graduated from the UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts in 1951. He remained in Eugene, started a family, and practiced architecture here. Libby Unthank Tower is his daughter.
“He loved the school of architecture with the philosophy of the Pacific Northwest using natural woods and building products." Tower says, "And I think that he really didn’t see the color of his skin as being the important thing that people should be looking at.”
Unthank’s longtime business partner Otto Poticha says it makes sense for Unthank to get this recognition.
Poticha says, “He was, in the history of the University of Oregon, and the history of the state of Oregon. I think he was a place-maker.”
Unthank’s name will go on the building formerly known as Dunn Hall. Frederic Dunn was a Ku Klux Klan leader. His name was removed after outcry from black students.