University of Michigan to Rename Two Campus Buildings That Honor Racists

The board of regents of the University of Michigan has announced that it is changing the name of a campus building and a section of a residence hall that had been named after individuals who held racist beliefs.

The C.C. Little Science building will be renamed. Until that time, it will simply be known by its street address. Clarence Cook Little served for a brief time as president of the University of Michigan from 1925 to 1929. He was an advocate for eugenics, sterilization, and euthanasia for the “unfit.” He supported anti-miscegenation laws.

Alexander Winchell House in the West Quadrangle Residence complex will be renamed. Dr. Winchell was a professor of physics, civil engineering, geology, and paleontology at the university. He taught at Michigan from 1854 to 1872. He owned a cotton plantation in Mississippi after the Civil War that paid its Black laborers $7 a month, minus fees for clothes and medical services. His 1880 book on evolution discussed “the inferiority of the Negro.”

Mark Schlissel, president of the University of Michigan, stated that “Winchell’s book continues to be used in support of White supremacy. His name does not merit, nor does it belong, as the name of one of our houses.”

 

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